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Parent Calls Out ‘Overweight’ SIL For Fat-Shaming Their Son Over Cake At His Birthday Party

Young boy blowing out his birthday candles
Tatjana Kaufmann/Getty Images

We’ve all known someone who called themselves “brutally honest” and expected others to accept their comments as part of “how they are.”

But validating that person’s personality should not invalidate someone else’s hurt feelings, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor IntelligentGrocery93 really did not like their brother’s wife because of the insults she frequently gave people, which she disguised as “the truth” and part of her “brutal honesty.”

But when her sister-in-law’s comments were directed toward their son on his birthday, the Original Poster (OP) had heard enough.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my SIL (Sister-in-Law) that she is overweight and she can deal with the truth?”

The OP’s family did not have a positive relationship with their sister-in-law. 

“This is about my SIL (Sister-in-Law), my brother’s wife. I really dislike this woman so I am coming here to see if I should apologize.”

“My brother got married a few years ago to Shelly. She is the type of person who will say something rude and then when someone points it out, she tells everyone it is true so what’s the harm?”

“My mother despises her and actually opts out of most events just to avoid her.”

“I moved back home about a year ago, and at the time, I thought people were just being rude to her or overblowing the things she says. I was wrong.”

The OP didn’t have a good relationship with her, either.

“My first proper introduction to her was when she told me my outfit looked bad on me and it wasn’t hiding my stomach. Another time, I gave a present at a birthday party and she told me I was cheap (I got a bubble gun for a five-year-old, and he loved it). This goes on and on.”

“I talked to my brother and he told me she is Autistic and she can’t help it. I then talked to her and I told her I won’t put up with her being rude.”

The relationship took a hit at the OP’s son’s birthday party.

“We recently celebrated my son’s third birthday and I invited the family (I wouldn’t have invited her but I didn’t want to cause waves).”

“She made a comment about my house decor, and I told her it was rude and to knock it off.”

“I lost it when I gave my son a piece of cake and she made the comment that I shouldn’t give him any since he looks fat.”

“I told her to apologize and she told me it was the truth.”

“I told her that she was overweight, that if she took care of herself more she wouldn’t be fat, that this was the truth, and that she was rotten on the inside and her looks were just as bad.”

“She ended up crying and leaving. My brother is p**sed and I was called some fun names. Everyone is torn if I should apologize or not.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some pointed out that Autism was not an excuse to act like an AH.

“Autistic here.”

“Shelley sucks. Being Autistic doesn’t excuse being an AH and contrary to what the media portrays, Autistic people CAN learn social stuff, it just generally takes us longer. But non-AH Autistics generally apologize and learn when someone says they were rude, they don’t use their Autism as an excuse.”

“She and your brother are weaponizing her Autism. It SUCKS. Especially because it reflects so badly on other autistic people.”

“Screw them. They deserved what they got, to be honest.”

“NTA.” – unicornhair1991

“You are 1000% NTA. Having autism is not an excuse or explanation for being an AH like your SIL is. I’m Autistic and have never intentionally insulted someone like that. I’ve accidentally insulted people before, but always followed up with a sincere apology after it was pointed out to me or I noticed the person was upset by what I said.”

“Unknowingly saying something is far different than intentionally saying something cruel, especially to/about a child.”

“People who use Autism as an excuse to be rude and nasty are a pet peeve for a lot of us because it makes people think we’re all like that.” – NightWolfRose

“Eh, you get grace when you say something without realizing it’s rude, but if you’ve been called out on it multiple times, then you just don’t respect people’s feelings.”

“Autism affects the ability to realize something is rude, but that problem is irrelevant when you’ve been told something is rude.” – pyramidheadismydaddy

“If she had said, ‘Your outfit is showing your stomach’ and stopped at that, okay, it’s factual and something an Autistic person would point out without assigning negative or positive value to this observation.”

“But SIL goes on to say the outfit looks BAD and your kid is FAT. Those are both negative statements and don’t fall into the whole I’m-autistic-and-this-is-just-me-being-blunt-and-lacking-awarness-of-social-cues-and-nuance. Nothing nuanced about calling a child FAT.”

“I do think that SIL deserves some grace when it comes to her autism. Especially as typically women with autism tend to hide it better than men. So she could be struggling with a more severe case she is able to mask. But it’s not Op’s responsibility to cater to SIL when her words are directly impacting and damaging Op’s children.” – GreenUnderstanding39

“NO GRACE for the hurtful, mean comments that spew forth from her mouth. Since this behavior is a problem that she and her SO (significant other) are aware of, why are they not taking steps to change this behavior?”

“I’ll tell you why: it gives SIL attention, even when it is bad.” – bienie2019

“To those who have questioned why the brother would marry this woman, I want to say that Autistic people deserve love too.”

“But at this point, the dude has to realize that his wife’s hurtful words are alienating his immediate family members.”

“There needs to be some accountability for SIL making efforts to change and/or keep the family informed about her diagnosis and level of Autism. She can get therapy and work with a specialist both alone or in a group to help train her brain and alter her behavior.”

“The crying and playing victim seems ironic at hearing the same words directed back to her.” – GreenUnderstanding39

“NTA. Did your son hear her comment about not giving him cake because he looks fat?? A comment like that can have a lasting effect on a child.”

“My daughter, who is over 30 now, remembers a comment someone said about her looking fat when she was eight. She has never forgotten that comment.”

“Having Autism should not be an excuse for being rude and hurtful! If she can’t control her comments, don’t let her near your kids.” – eeyorex

Others agreed and reassured the OP that they should not apologize. 

“When a grown woman bullies a child for no reason, you can call her whatever you want in my honest opinion. And OP’s brother is a really bad uncle. NTA.” – dryadduinath

“Why should you apologize when she hasn’t apologized for calling a kid fat?” – Fionaelaine4

“She called a kid fat, on his birthday, when his mom is handing him a slice of his own birthday cake… The OP does not need to apologize.” – theuglycantalope

“Don’t apologize OP! When a grown-up adult talks smack about an innocent child like that, the gloves are off.”

“OP, her attitude is atrocious and Autism does not excuse that. Your brother is a MAJOR A**HOLE for enabling her and letting her insult your child.”

“NTA.” – chichi98986

“Make a detailed list of the rude, inappropriate things your SIL has said to you and your family. Tell your brother that when his wife apologizes for each individual item on that list, you will be DELIGHTED to apologize for pointing out that she is overweight.”

“Given that she said that in front of your son and her past history, I’m giving you a hall pass this time and going with NTA.” – celticmusebooks

“NTA. Brother enables his wife’s rude and disrespectful behavior. The fact that she has been kicked out speaks volumes. When she can woman up and apologize to you, then you can apologize for hurting her feelings by speaking the truth.”

“Don’t throw stones when you are in a glass house. I definitely wouldn’t invite her to future events. She has no care for others’ feelings and no one will have a care for hers.” – blackwillow-99

“Most people who are proud of being ‘brutally honest’ are more into and interested in the ‘brutal’ part than the honesty part.”

“Like another commenter, I’m having a hard time believing SIL is actually autistic. I’m the mom of a young autistic adult, and he does have some trouble connecting with people for sure, and says some things that from anyone else you’d think was a ‘backhanded compliment’ (said like a compliment, but is almost an insult) because of how blunt he can be.”

“But being mean is never his intention, and if he says something that could be hurtful and is told about it, ‘just being honest’ is never his response. He apologizes if he made someone feel bad. And he’s only 19, he is (I’m guessing) quite a bit younger than SIL.”

“This woman doesn’t do that – apologize for saying something hurtful. And she doesn’t say things that are just lacking tact. She only seems to have this unfiltered ‘honesty’ when it’s something mean.”

“Don’t apologize until she does, OP. Maybe not even then.” – CallistoWrites

“I’d trade an apology for an apology.”

“She either believes there’s nothing wrong with telling hurtful truths, or she doesn’t. If she really thinks she has nothing to apologize for, then OP doesn’t, either. But if she sees how hurtful “the truth” can be, she’ll recognize that she needs to apologize, just as she thinks OP should.”

“This is entirely up to the SIL. Does she think feelings matter or no? If no, then OP has nothing to apologize for.” – MorrowPlotting

The subReddit couldn’t believe that the OP’s sister-in-law was expecting an apology after how she treated the OP’s son on his birthday. Autism is not an excuse for rudeness, and neither is the trait of being “brutally honest.”

It sounds like the sister-in-law needed to learn how to validate other people’s feelings.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.