Disorders that affect your appearance are a pain to deal with. They create a layer of mental problems to deal with, as well as health decisions, and all of these things are so personal and difficult.
When someone else tries to make those decisions for you, it’s not only uncalled for, it’s very disrespectful. This was the situation Reddit user bald_and_bitter found herself in, as her father tried to control the decisions she made about her unfortunate hair-loss disorder.
After reacting in a way that made her father extremely upset, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for perspective on her actions:
“AITA for ruining a wig my dad tried to make me wear?”
Our original poster, or OP, told us about her disorder and the precarious situation she found herself in.
“I’m on a throwaway account because this is a rather… unique situation.”
“Dad (49M[ale]) has a severe hair loss condition, but he’s never done anything to hide it and he’s at the age where it doesn’t matter.”
“I (19F[emale]) was really hoping the gene missed me, but apparently not. In my teens I started noticing bald patches and weird regrowth/loss patterns.”
In order to deal with it, OP shaved her head.
“I got made fun of for it (nothing extreme, but you know teenagers) and in college I had enough and decided to go bald.”
“It was an impulse decision but I’m young and dumb, and I loved the way it looked after. I’m planning to stay bald for the immediate future.”
Being on lockdown has forced OP back with her parents, and her father in particular had a poor reaction.
“Recent events (gestures to the state of the world) forced me to leave uni and move back in with my parents, which means they’ve seen my new hair (or lack thereof) and are upset about it.”
“Mom got over it in a few days when I told her it made me happy. Still looks a bit weirded out sometimes, but that’s fine.”
“Dad has refused to shut up about it. You’d think it was his head I shaved.”
He was rather unkind about it.
“Says it looks weird, I’ll never get a boyfriend/job, I looked so much prettier with my hair, called me a lesbian (he used the slur), etc.”
“I told him to back off because the double standard is unfair and it was his stupid genes that caused this whole problem in the first place, and he shut up. I thought that was it, but I guess not.”
And decided to take matters into his own hands.
“Days pass, and yesterday I wake up and the first thing I see is a wig box thing on my desk. I was pissed, confronted dad about it, and he admitted he got it for me and tried to convince me to wear it.”
“I said no and tried to give it back, but he wouldn’t take it and suggested I keep it for a few days to see if my feelings changed. I threw it in the trash.”
And kept being persistent.
“This morning, same thing. I guess dad dug the wig out of the trash and put it back, which is not only annoying but also really gross.”
So OP retaliated.
“I was really frustrated and didn’t think more talking would do any good, so I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut all the wig hair off onto my dad’s side of the bed.”
“Not too much of a hassle to clean, but there are some strands that will probably linger for days.”
And it resulted in a full breakdown in communication between dad and daughter.
“Dad found out, screamed at me, I barricaded myself in my room. I didn’t hear all of it, but apparently the wig was expensive and I’m ungrateful.”
“Mom told us to calm down and talk things out in the morning, which I’m not looking forward to, because I feel justified. AITA?”
Redditors helped OP gain perspective on where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA-Not The A**hole
- YTA-You’re The A**hole
- ESH-Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH-No A**holes Here
Redditors are divided on this one.
Some think OP is NTA, some think everyone is really not reacting well.
“Definitely NTA! It seems like your dad had treated you horribly, calling you slurs, insulting you and yelling at you just because you don’t want to wear a wig.”
“You have a right to do what you want with your body and he shouldn’t be able to dictate this.”~PasteIYellow
“I think more than feminine beauty standards, your dad is projecting his own issues on you. He had some self-image or esteem issues due to hair falling out, which by the looks of it was progressive.”
“Maybe he got sh*t on for that. Now he sees his daughter bald, which was by choice, so he didn’t handle it well.”
“But regardless it was really immature and crude. You’re NTA, op. Whatever the reason may be, he went way too far. Ideally he should have shut up about it after you said it makes you happy.”~HighInTheDepths
“ESH but only mildly for you and very much for your dad. His reaction was outdated, over the top, bigoted, uncalled for, unnecessary, all those things.”
“I wonder if he feels a bit guilty though, since he bought the wig after you mentioned you inherited the condition from him.”
“But if I were you I would have just kept it and refused to wear it, not ostentatiously thrown it away (not that he should have taken it out of the bin) or deliberately destroyed it on his side of the bed.”
“That’s also a petty escalation.”
“Wigs are really expensive. My friend with alopecia spent ages saving for a good quality one. It’s a shame it’s destroyed now.”
“However obviously your dad is the biggest a**hole. Just I would have maybe toned down your response a bit rather than playing his game.”~FraughtOverwrought
“I think the part that made the destruction a bit petty/unnecessary was destroying it over his bed. That’s a targeted, deliberate (deserved) ‘f**k you.'”
“I think boiling it down to just destruction is disingenuous. That’s like the difference between picking up poop your neighbor’s dog left in your yard and throwing it into theirs vs placing it on their stoop and lighting it on fire.”
“Might feel good in the moment, and even after tbh, but it’s certainly an escalation.”~FirstMasterpiece
Everyone agreed OP’s dad was out of line, but some pointed out OP also escalated the situation unnecessarily.
“NTA. It’s your hair and you can do what you want with it.”
“Not only was your dad absolutely overstepping with his hideous comments, he had the audacity to get you a wig?”
“And then get you a trash-covered wig again? If he’s so insecure about hair loss he should wear it.”~radstarr
“NTA. Your dad clearly has control issues. By giving you such an expensive wig, he only expected you to submit.”
“You didn’t. Cutting the wig into pieces might’ve been a little overboard, but so was his reaction to a freaking haircut.”~fkingpie
“ESH. To clarify, you suck the least. Obviously your dad is being super inappropriate by trying to control your sense of style, and your bodily autonomy. There’s no denying that he’s being TA.”
“But it’s a bit weird to deliberately cut up the wig over his side of the bed. The only scenarios where people leave destroyed things in people’s beds are like….the Mafia or serial killers.”
“I understand the point you were trying to make but I feel like it would have been more successfully conveyed if you had taken the wig to him, laughed, and asked why he cares so much about your romantic life, or your style.”
“Or, most importantly, how you choose to deal with a medical condition that you have no control over except very specifically how you wear your hair.”~ElephantJuiceYoyo
“NTA. I shaved my head (not bald, and I didn’t have to) at one point and my father didn’t take it well.”
“I’d had a pixie cut before that and he felt the need to inform me I ‘looked like a boy’ (my self esteem was very low, I actually finally started liking how I looked with the pixie cut).”
“He didn’t want me to go out, and tried to make me wear earrings or makeup all the time to make sure I looked feminine enough.”
“It hurts, it hurts an insane amount. Your father was being a huge dick, women shave their heads, lots of beautiful and famous women shave their heads.”
“He never should’ve pushed the wig on you.”
“I’m not entirely sure you destroying it was the best option, but he brought that on himself with his entirely unacceptable behavior and it’s his fault, ultimately.”~schismasvoice
But most of all, Redditors echoed one sentiment—OP’s dad is not entitled to her head.
“NTA. Your dad is taking out his own guilt for passing down the ‘bald gene’ to you on to you, in a very unconstructive way.”
“Not only that, but it reinforces sexist ideas that as a woman you ‘should’ have hair to be pretty, whereas for men baldness is an accepted thing. Eff that.”
“Besides, just because he spend a lot on a ‘gift’ doesn’t mean he gets to dictate what you do with the ‘gift’.”
“He had one chance to back out when you threw it in the trash but he persisted. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”~spoonfullofrage
“NTA ask him why he didn’t wear it for a day to ‘try it!'”
“For your upcoming conversation… You want him to accept who you are. He can’t protect you from harm and hurt he can only support you.”
“And here’s some bald NON lesbian (not that it matters) successful sexy women to reference: Gail Porter, Ricki Lake and Sinéad O’Connor.”
“And this is for you, exploring the history of shame and baldness in women, and how unacceptable that is: https://www.ladyalopecia.com/bald-women/”~watchingonsidelines
“NTA. You didn’t want the thing anyway.”
“Your dad’s homophobia and concern for your image seems more rooted in the fact that he doesn’t want a daughter who looks like you. Big deal.”
“He can grow some balls and get over his narrow-minded idea of what a woman should look like.”
“Women with bald/shaved heads are sexy. Lesbian women are awesome. Your dad is an immature prick who has no right to shout at you, emotionally manipulate you, or project his issues onto you.”~isaacthe2nd
“NTA. Your father has been mean to you, and called you slurs, and tried to force you to conform to HIS beauty standards and how he thinks you should look.”
“You politely turned him down, and you told your mom you’re happy this way (and I assume he knows you said that, too).”
“His unwillingness to accept you as you are is, frankly, sad.”
“You’re still his daughter and he should love you no matter what, not to mention what you did was basically unavoidable considering how you’ve said your hair was even falling out, anyway.”~The-Moocat
While OP’s reactions may have been a bit over the top, Redditors agree dad was the major a**hole.
If dad and OP do end up having a conversation, hopefully she will be able to set boundaries that he will respect.