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Teen With Cancer Berated For Shaving Her Head The Day Before She’s To Be In Cousin’s Wedding

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It’s no secret at this point that weddings genuinely bring out the worst in some people.

From skewed priorities to downright entitled and mean behavior, some people’s personalities really seem to change during the wedding planning process, the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

But Redditor adelyn_jo was shocked at who her cousin was turning out to be in the process of planning her wedding and inviting her to be a teenage flower girl.

When she revealed how she, as a cancer patient, had prepared for the wedding, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked to see what her cousin revealed herself to be, too.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for shaving my head before my cousin’s wedding?”

The OP was invited to be the flower girl at her cousin’s wedding.

“My cousin, Delaney (24 Female), is getting married soon and I (13 Female) was asked to be the flower girl at her wedding.”

“I know I’m a bit old for it, but I’m the youngest girl on that side of the family.”

“Around a month after being asked to be the flower girl, I was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma Grade 3 Cancer.”

“I started chemotherapy, and my hair started falling out pretty quickly.”

“I called Delaney and asked her what the h**l I was supposed to do about my hair, and she told me that it’d be fine, and just to leave it alone for as long I could.”

The OP did her best to keep up appearances for the wedding.

“We all knew my hair was probably not going last till the wedding day, and my brother ordered me a wig online. The wig looked a lot like my actual hair.”

“My hair continued coming out in clumps and was getting extremely tangled and was just really uncomfortable. No one ever told me that losing my hair would be physically painful.”

“Eventually, a couple of days before the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner (they happened the same day), nearly half of my hair had come out, and I was so sick of the hot mess that my hair had become that I just cut all my hair off.”

The OP was shocked by her cousin’s reaction.

“On the day of the rehearsal dinner, I wore my wig so that Braelyn, the family friend that Delaney had asked to be her hair stylist, could figure out how to style it.”

“Delaney walked in as Braelyn was showing me how to use wig glue, and absolutely lost it.”

“She asked me why I didn’t have hair and I told her, ‘I have cancer, I lost my hair.'”

“But she kept berating me and eventually I admitted that I had shaved my head because of how awful my hair looked.”

“She called me a selfish brat and said that I didn’t have her permission to do anything drastic with my hair before her wedding.”

“AITA?”

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 couldn’t believe how the bride was treating her cousin with cancer.

“OP should tell her parents what happened and (hopefully) they will stick up for her.”

“I bet the family friend/stylist was APPALLED at what the bride was saying to OP and I wish she spoke up about it for OP.”

“OP if you need someone to verify your story, ask the family friend because she seemed genuinely happy to help you figure out wigs (which I bet look fabulous on you!)”

“You are not some centerpiece, you are a human being with a lot on her plate right now and probably in a lot of mental and physical pain.”

“OP your cousin does not own your body or hair. You need to speak up to your parents about it and even other family members if people start asking questions. Tell them you were yelled at for losing your hair, cutting off the rest because it was painful, and deciding on putting on a wig instead for the wedding and your cousin lost their shit on you for it.”

“If you can skip the wedding I would OP, she doesn’t deserve to treat you like that.” – TheoryAddict

“She said she ‘didn’t have permission to do anything drastic with her hair.’ I’m sorry OP, but you are undergoing treatment for an awful disease that unfortunately makes you lose your hair. If your cousin doesn’t like that, she can take a hike!” – DuckOpen

“What the actual f**k? The poor child has cancer and the cousin’s mad that she wasn’t consulted beforehand. Pick your battles. The cousin is a major AH.”

“OP, you are NTA in any way shape or form.” – ABeggyChooser

“This kind of stuff drives me crazy. If this had happened for my wedding, I’d have helped her pick out a wig or a scarf or a ribbon or tell her to rock a bald head, whatever made HER feel the best. I have no idea what is wrong with some people.” – Weatherbunny7

“Honestly, OP, even if you had just decided to shave your head because you like it that way, your cousin would not be justified in reacting the way she did.”

“YOU get to choose what you do with your body (including your hair), not anybody else. I never get people who are worried about other peoples’ appearances ‘ruining’ photos or whatever. When I got married, I wanted my loved ones in my photos. Not my loved ones… with some slight tweaks to look the way I wanted them to.”

“That being said, this is made worse by the fact that you were ENDURING ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAIN because she told you you couldn’t cut your hair WHILE GOING THROUGH CHEMO. I can’t begin to understand someone entitled enough to think that their shallow opinions matter more that a 13-year-old’s health.”

“All this to say, OP you are not in the wrong. Nothing about this is your fault, and you are completely, 100% NTA. I hope your cousin comes to her senses and begs for your forgiveness.” – Broccoli_Bee

Others suggested not even attending the wedding after this. 

“If this were my kid, I’d be asking her if she still even wanted to attend the wedding. If not, we’d go do something fun that day.” – GloInTheDarkUnicorn

“Why should OP have to waste a day or more dealing with this bridezilla? Go have fun and to heck with that noise, OP is dealing with enough right now that they shouldn’t be subjected to this person.”

“NTA obviously.” – RuthBourbon

“OP, skip the wedding. Your cousin is disgusting, I’m so sorry. All the best to you. You’re NTA.” – Mumof3ggb

“OP, I hope you have a complete recovery and get to celebrate many cancer-free milestones down the road.”

“As a cancer survivor, I will mention that the hair falling out is painful and when it grows back it’s also painful. When I was going through it there were a few times that I didn’t want to bother with people’s crap and happily used the excuse of ‘being concerned about exposure to germs’ which I was, but not to the point that I would avoid events I wanted to go to.”

“You are a person going through hell right now and you need to do what’s best for you!” – Leedlie

“Show up and actually object when the minister asks. Tell them how she treated a THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD CANCER PATIENT.” – bouncyfox69

Some also hoped that the family would have the OP’s back going forward.

“I’m trying to imagine any of my nieces or nephews treating my daughter like that. And then I realize that while we’re capable of being a**holes, we’re not completely f**king selfish monsters.”

“That, and it would be a contest to see who would be more pissed at the offending nibbling: me or my sister/kid’s mother?”

“Kiddo, you’ve got enough on your plate. Let your parents carry some of that load that you shouldn’t be burdened with right now. You can make it up after you kick some malignant a**.” – ClothDiaperAddicts

“She really is a bridezilla, but where the h**l are OP’s parents in this mess? They should have put their bratty niece in line well before it got to this point.”

“I’m enraged even thinking about it and I am shocked OP’s parents have allowed this madness to go on for so long. I hope a bird s**ts on the bride before her pictures and ruins her dress.” – SiteElectrical8401

“If I was a bridesmaid, I’d f**k with the bride by telling her I shaved my head in solidarity with OP and couldn’t come to the wedding.” – MissTheWire

“If it were my kid, we’d be wondering if the bride would even be able to make it down the aisle 2 feet shorter after I had cut her off at the knees for saying something like that. To a kid. With Cancer. A kid with cancer. The bride is pure trash.” – PokeyWeirdo12

“To be honest, I can’t imagine being the hairdresser who witnessed the scene and not yelling at the bride to knock it off, right before telling her that I no longer offer my services to somebody of her likes.” – malazuzu22

The subReddit was unanimously furious for this thirteen-year-old teen who was not only living with cancer and experiencing painful hair loss, but she was also being ridiculed by her cousin over something as ridiculous as appearances at a wedding.

It seemed like finding something fun that the OP especially loves to do would be far better use of her precious time than attending that particular wedding.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.