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Teen Warned Not To Challenge Her Fat-Shaming Dad To A Workout Because It Would ‘Emasculate’ Him

Embarrassing your parents is generally considered a bad idea – but are there ever times when it’s totally warranted?

19-year-old Redditor “TryingToBreatheInOut” found herself at a crossroads when it came to how she handles her body-shaming parents. She turned to the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit to get their thoughts on a hypothetical “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA) scenario.

She asked

“Would I be the a**hole for “emasculating” my father?” 

Before we get into her story, let’s take a minute to talk about how this subReddit works.

AITA is devoted to talking about life’s “grey area” moments; those times you’re not sure if you handled something properly or if maybe you really are the bad guy.

Most of the time people talk about incidents that have already happened, but sometimes—like this time—people come to the subReddit to get thoughts on how they are considering handling something.

The original poster, or “OP”, posts their scenario. Other users comment with their opinions and votes.

Voting Options for the AITA subReddit are: 

  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Now that you’re caught up on how things work, let’s get back to the OP’s story. 

“So for some background, my parents fat shame me a lot.”

“I’m not overweight, but my weight isn’t at the best it could be. However, I go to the gym 3x a week and try to eat healthy.”

“So earlier tonight I was eating a sandwich for dinner when my dad (66) went ‘I thought you were trying to eat healthy? You would be in better shape if you did hot yoga 3 times a week like I do.’ ”

“As someone who’s struggled a lot with my weight in the past, this really hurt, especially since he said it unprompted. I ended up going to my mom (52) about it, telling her all the progress I’ve made at the gym and how much I can lift now, etc.”

“Before I started going, I literally NEVER worked out. Now I go 3x a week.”

“I said ‘I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been’ and she straight up said ‘no you’re not’ in a condescending tone, because I haven’t lost as much weight as she’d like. But I’m so much stronger and have a lot more endurance now.”

“I came up with an idea then – I invited my mom to the gym so she could try the workouts I do with me.”

“I’ve worked for almost a year to get where I am now. Hot yoga, which my mom does too, is definitely an intense exercise, but I work out in a completely different way than what my parents do.”

“Anyway, she was down for it, but when I brought up inviting my dad too, she was super against it suddenly.”

“When I asked why, she said he wouldn’t be able to keep up with me or lift the same that I do. ‘I get that he hurt your feelings, but he used to be 2 times his current size and can’t lift as much as he thinks he can. You don’t want to emasculate him by proving his daughter is stronger than he is.’ “

“I’m like, isn’t that kind of the point? Not to hurt him, but to prove that I’m putting in the work so he stops making comments about my body and my lifestyle choices?”

“But she basically said there’s no way to win and I should just give up – which in my mind, means continue to let him fat shame me.”

“I don’t think that I would be the a**hole because if ’emasculating’ my father gets him to stop fat shaming me, then so be it.”

“So, WIBTA for supposedly ’emasculating’ my father?”

Reddit is usually pretty divided on this sort of thing, but not this time. 

“You would totally be NTA if you did it, but your mother is never going to agree because she has enabled his a**hole behavior because honestly she is an a**hole too.” – la_peregrine

“Get him doing something ‘easy’ like a hike and then pretend to be puzzled that his hot yoga sessions didn’t prepare him for it! But I’m petty as f*ck and don’t care if someone is emasculated by my strength.” – PlumbersArePeopleToo

“NTA- OP you are doing a fantastic job. Your parents as you will find aren’t perfect, if this doesn’t show you clearly already.”

“They aren’t choosing words/actions that are helpful towards you. It’s a fact fat shaming causes the opposite results people want.”

“Which means, their words haven’t for a second given you the advantage/confidence you needed to succeed. That was all you, bravo!”

“They sound a bit like the ‘pick yourself up by your old boot straps’ meme.”

“I would be firm and tell them to keep their thoughts to themselves. This isn’t up for discussion. They can be supportive, or shut the f*ck up.”

“You don’t owe them in that way.” – Itsafrickenlazer

“NTA but the sooner you stop worrying about your parents the better.”

“My mom used to hard fat shame me, even comparing me to pigs and stuff, and it crushed my mental health. At some points I would work my a$$ off so I could fight back but in the end it was about her insecurities.”

“Your father may never change his behavior, so unfortunately we as children have to drop this approval-seeking. I wish all the best for you.” – LuksNasc

“NTA: if he makes a comment again just be like ‘you are free to join me and I’ll show you what I have been doing.’ ”

“Don’t let your mom dictate that you can’t even broach the subject with him.” – MysteriousTaste493

“NTA It takes real nerve for a bully to say it’s not nice of you to take away their reasons for bullying you!”

“How insecure and stupid can these people be that they actually DEMAND someone continue to appear inferior to them and not stand up for herself so they can pick on her and keep feeling superior, and then tell her she’s mean for not letting them do it?!”

“Tell your egg donor that the only men who worry about feeling emasculated are those who already are.”

“Every time they make a weight criticism or fat joke, don’t respond to that, just say a brief sentence that shares your latest story or stats from the gym. If they push back, go into more detail and keep elaborating on the story or your latest achievement until they back off.” – Clarisse1984

“NTA and frankly you should say ‘Want to lift weights together?’ EVERY TIME he comments on your body.” – threeforagirl

“Don’t worry about emasculating your dad, he is emasculating himself with his weak ass mindset. you’re NTA!” – mirseapea

“NTA.”

“And you should tell him you were going to invite him so he could see how hard you work out, but your mom said not to because she said that you would emasculate him. And that you love him too much to do that.”

“Then sit back and watch the fun.”

“Okay, that might not go that well, but thinking about it is fun.”

“Sorry they treat you that way. I hope you know you don’t deserve it and that they are a**holes for doing that to you.” – CJsOpinion

“NTA. It could hurt his feelings or feel emasculated, and maybe he would stop fat shaming you.”

“Or maybe he will double down or find other ways to belittle you or retaliates in other ways. Sometimes when people feel attacked (in this case his ego) that could happen. Be aware.”

“I know you’re not looking for advice, but it works be better to use the grey rock method when they bring your weight to make you feel bad about yourself.”

“Or speak out, ‘why are you trying to destroy my self esteem?, I’m trying to be healthy, I need words of encouragement and your words are not helping me in any way’, etc.”

“Congratulations on your will to be consistent and go to the gym enough to see results. Many people (me included) give up after a while.”

“You should be proud of yourself because you are being consistent and that takes hard work and a strong will; keep it up.” – MadamnedMary

Welp. Reddit certainly knew exactly how they felt about that one. Challenge on OP!

Erica Diaz

Written by Erica Diaz

Erica is the consummate cool-kid. She’s so cool that she’s been talked about in magazines, on blogs and on the radio after losing her left eye because of a piece of glitter. She is still actively mourning the passing of Prince and hopes to one day do an all-iguana remake of Graffiti Bridge since iguanas are plentiful near her home in South Florida. She has yet to find one that can really nail the “ahhhyayayeaheaheah” that Tevin Campbell does in Round and Round, and everyone knows the music is the important part of any Prince film. She’s a mother, singer, writer and (if the internet is to be believed - which we all know it is) a Nigerian socialite mid-ranking member of the Illuminati. She prides herself on being the most popular one-eyed rock star under 5 ft tall in pretty much any room she walks into.