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Teen Called ‘Completely Selfish’ For Dyeing Her Hair Twice Without Consulting Boyfriend First

Kareya Saleh/Unsplash

It’s fair to say that we all have our preferences in regards to appearance. Some heights, hair colors, styles of dress, and makeup are more attractive to us than others, and that’s okay.

But those are opinions we should keep to ourselves, urged the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Domestic_bear was furious when his girlfriend changed her hair color without consulting with him first, since he did not like the appearance of dyed hair.

But when his girlfriend said he was trying to control her, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he had the right to be angry.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for being very upset over my girlfriend dyeing her hair without telling me… twice?”

The OP was frustrated with his girlfriend over her new look.

“The simple version: Even though my girlfriend (18 female) knows I (18 male) don’t like dyed hair, she did it anyway.”

“The first time, it was just the ends, and I put up with it after a day of expressing my complaints, but now it’s all red, and I just can’t handle that she didn’t even include me in the decision or care about my feelings and opinions.”

His girlfriend was aware of how he felt. 

“The longer version: She is very well aware that I don’t like dyed hair. I think it looks bad compared to people’s natural hair color and that it is usually just a way for people to get attention because they don’t get it elsewhere.”

“There have been a few times where she has said I can’t judge people just because they dye their hair but I’m very judgmental.”

“She told me it would do me some good if her hair was dyed so I could learn that it’s not a bad thing.”

“I told her that would make me very upset.”

The OP was surprised when she didn’t listen to him.

“One day I turned up to school and her hair below her shoulders was ‘Auburn.'”

“I got upset as soon as I saw it and got angry and started complaining.”

“I ended up dealing with it because there was nothing I could do now that it was already done and I did not expect this to happen again.”

In his opinion, she then proceeded to make the situation worse.

“About 4 months later, the dye was quite faded, so she went home one night and covered her whole head and texted me that she had done it.”

“That whole night, we went back and forth over text about it.”

“I told her to apologize or I was going to get upset, and she refused.”

“I told her that I can’t be in a relationship with someone who won’t include their SO (significant other) in decisions significant to either person.”

“She said that if I can’t respect her decision to do something as small as dyeing her hair, maybe I’m the problem.”

The couple could not come to an agreement.

“Her perspective: It’s her body that she can do with as she pleases, and I shouldn’t have control over what she can and can’t do.”

“I shouldn’t dislike dyed hair and this is an opportunity to learn that it’s not bad, and she also likes the way it looks.”

“She thinks I’m being too controlling by telling her to apologize for not letting me in on the decision.”

“My perspective: She should at the very least tell me before she does something I might have a problem with, and she should include me in these decisions out of respect and love.”

“She should understand that I really don’t like dyed hair and that her actions can make me really upset.”

“She should understand that this will only fuel my problem with dyed hair, not extinguish it.”

“AITA for getting pissed and telling my girlfriend that she’s being completely selfish for disrespecting my feelings and opinions in a decision I consider important and significant?”

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 thought the OP should date someone else or not date anyone at all.

“YTA and you’re also not mature enough to be in a relationship. I worry for any future woman you might end up with because what you sound like is an overbearing and controlling person.”

“I hope she’s your ex-girlfriend now and she can live her happy life with hair the way she likes it.” – NanMcD

“You said, ‘I can’t be in a relationship with someone who won’t include their SO (significant other) in decisions significant to either person.'”

“I fail to see how her hair color is significant to you. YTA.” – Impressive_Brain6436

“YTA. No, you don’t get to be included in a decision she makes about her hair. If you’re upset by this, be single.”

“You are being controlling and she absolutely should not apologize to you. If anything, she should tell you to enjoy being single and find a guy who doesn’t whine and complain at her because she changed her hair.”

“She did not disrespect your feelings and she is not selfish. You, on the other hand…” – happybanana134

“No 18-year-old girl ever should have to check with her s**tty boyfriend before changing her hair. YTA.” – D*ckduck21

Others agreed and said the OP was controlling and judgmental. 

“YTA. If you really get that bothered by it, date someone who doesn’t dye their hair. Don’t try to change someone to fit your petty preferences.”

“I have to say, though, if you think it’s reasonable to demand your SO (significant other) asks your permission before doing something that only affects their own body, I’m worried about how you would treat other minor grievances with other SOs.”

“Learn to accept who people are and respect their choices, especially if those choices don’t affect you in the slightest. Relationships aren’t about changing to fit the other person’s description of a perfect SO.” – Sh_Gruen

“YTA. You said, ‘I told her to apologize or I was going to get upset.’ Bro, what?”

“That’s so controlling I’d be concerned there are other parts you’re not telling us. Do you dislike her wearing certain clothes? Makeup? Hanging around certain people?”

“The fact that you think she should include you in decisions like this is astounding. Does she have to get permission from you to get a haircut? Do you ask her if you can cut your own hair a certain way? I bet the answer is no.”

“You can dislike it, but it’s her hair and her choice. It’s just hair and there’s no reason to get so bent out of shape about it.” – Queensyuiid

“It’s almost like you expect her to ask your permission before she does something to her own hair because your close-minded opinion somehow overrides her body autonomy. YTA.” – GlitterSparkleDevine

“Oh wow. Ok. So, it was genuinely hard to get through this whole post while internally maintaining the civility rules for this sub.”

“You said, ‘It is usually just a way for people to get attention because they don’t get it elsewhere.'”

“RED FLAG. People groom themselves to please themselves. It is healthy and good to explore different looks especially as a teenager as that helps a person develop into who they want to be. I’m not sure who instilled this concept in you, but it deserves examining and conscious deprogramming.”

“You said, ‘I’m very judgmental.'”

“As an 18-year-old with zero qualifications to be this way, you might consider re-examining this control mechanism. It will only make coping with the inevitable chaos of life harder and cause you to crystallize into a fearful untrusting person.”

“You said, ‘I told her that I can’t be in a relationship with someone who won’t include their SO (significant other) in decisions significant to either person.'”

“RED FLAG. How is hair color anything other than a sexual preference? Does it actively hurt you? Does it affect your earning potential or cause housing instability?”

“If the only consequence of hair dye is to cause you to feel jealous due to a misconception that hair dying is done for attention-seeking and it makes you feel small, that is a YOU problem. Not a preference. Not a relationship problem. A problem that you need to work through and not dump onto others.”

“As for wanting to be involved in her decisions, this is generally a good and healthy concept, but not where it ends up as you vetoing something because it causes you to feel jealous and insecure, and definitely not without admitting that the reason for this issue is, at its root, caused by you.”

“The reason why your girlfriend refuses to have this dialogue is that you shove unwarranted and incorrect judgment out front without explaining why dyed hair makes you feel small and vulnerable.”

“Next time, examine why you are judging something, the feelings that the thing causes, and the reasons for you to have negative emotions related to something generally trivial and/or superficial. And explain THAT to your GF.”

“That kind of self-exploration and dialogue will make it easier for this GF or any future partner to connect to what seems like an irrational and unwarranted judgment of something that has basically no impact on you as an individual.”

“YTA. Don’t punt your internal issues onto your partner without, at a minimum, figuring yourself out and presenting the issue accurately and clearly and working towards a compromise that doesn’t involve body shaming or whining.” – armchairepicure

While the OP thought that he was onto something and had a right to be upset about his girlfriend changing her hair color without talking to him about it first, the subReddit didn’t think so.

It may be okay to have preferences for someone’s appearances, but it’s never okay to push those expectations onto them.

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.