Our appearances hold a lot of power in communicating who we are to other people and in helping us to feel like our truest selves.
People who try to control what we look like at special events, like weddings, can appear controlling, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, but there is some disagreement about whether to defend our appearance or simply “suck it up” for a day.
Redditor IchHasseRose really despised wearing dresses and was disgusted when her sister demanded that she wear a pink dress to her wedding, so all of her sisters would match.
When some family members called her out for not putting her sister’s wishes first, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to stand up for herself on someone else’s wedding day.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to wear a pink dress to my sister’s wedding?”
The OP didn’t view herself as “feminine” in how she dressed.
“I (30 Female) f**king hate dresses. Maybe it comes from being a tomboy in a conservative household or having to wear my sister’s hand-me-downs growing up, I don’t know, but I hate it.”
“My taste in fashion is not feminine in the slightest. I wore my dress uniform when I married because I didn’t want to waste money on a gown I wasn’t going to wear again.”
“I have short hair and have been mistaken for a man. Long story short, I don’t do dresses or ‘feminine’ fashion.”
The OP had a disagreement with her sister about her upcoming wedding.
“My sister Jana (35 Female) is getting married for the first time next year.”
“She and her fiance Christoph put out a dress code earlier this week: pink and black, of either suits or dresses.”
“I sent Jana a picture of a black suit I had to see if that would be okay.”
“She replied back, ‘Well… I was hoping you would wear a pink dress like our other sisters.'”
“I asked if there could be an exception because I don’t even own a dress.”
“She refused to budge and suggested that I go out and buy a pink dress so we’d all match.”
The OP was furious.
“I told Jana that I didn’t want to waste money on a dress I wouldn’t wear again, but again, no give.”
“She already shot back and said that she was trying to be accommodating to the other guests.”
“But I think it’s bulls**t that our other relatives and friends can pick whatever they’d like to wear but not me. It’s not fair that our trans auntie can wear a dress or our cousins who go by plural pronouns can pick what they’d like, and I can’t.”
“I told Jana that I thought her request for me to dress up in pink with our sisters was stupid, especially since the other guests could have their pick.”
The family lashed out at the OP.
“The conversation got spread to the rest of the family, and everyone is telling me to suck it up and just wear a dress on the day off to make Jana happy.”
“I need an outside opinion. Like I said, dresses make me feel uncomfortable, and I hate how I look in them.”
“But would I be the a**hole if I insist that I wear a suit? Or should I suck it up?”
“On a side note, WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) if I borrow my friend’s pink dress from her ‘Harry Potter’ cosplay and wear that as the mandatory ‘pink dress that is so important to Jana’?”
“It’s a remake of Hermione Granger’s pink ball gown from the Yule Ball.”
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 sister was selfish to demand a pink dress without compromise.
“For OP, wearing a suit seems to be something that affirms her gender identity/expression (how she specifically chooses to present as a woman, outside of typical gender norms).” – rcburner
“OP, for the record, I think malicious compliance and wearing the cosplay dress would probably make you TA.”
“But for wearing the black suit, definitely NTA. Your sister is being unreasonable.” – stphilomena
“I definitely get why this is internally consistent (since auntie is a woman and women are expected to wear dresses in this scenario). However, personally, I can see why OP would have a problem with this.”
“I think part of being accepting when it comes to gender identities is being accepted for different gender expressions.”
“Insisting that people maintain gender norms is not progressive, it reinforces the idea that gender identity is all about the clothes you wear and the way you act, as opposed to how you feel inside.” – Future_Sky_1308
“If I was in the situation, I’d just refuse to go. I believe she was kidding about the cosplay dress. Nobody should be forced to wear something they don’t want to wear.”
“I avoid dresses at all costs, so if I was asked to be in a wedding again, I’d decline. I hated being in my sister’s wedding.”
“And I hated my own actual wedding the first time I got married, because my first husband insisted on an actual big wedding, even though he knew that I hate being in front of people and big groups of people with a passion. It was only 50 people, but still way too many people for my taste. (I’m on the autism spectrum, me and more than 5 people around me at a time do not mix.)”
“When I got remarried in February of 2020, it was just me, my current husband, my mom, my dad, and my son in front of a minister on a Friday afternoon at a coffee shop where they were doing free weddings for the month of February.” – Old_Draw_6624
Others disagreed and said the OP could wear a dress for one single day.
“YTA. Dude, just bite the bullet. Like, are you really stressing out your sister about her wedding because you don’t want to wear a dress?”
“Like, I’m a male and I hate wearing suits, but I do it at weddings because it’s A) expected and B) because I’ve been asked.”
“Just bite the bullet, wear the dress, be uncomfortable for a SINGLE night, and make your sister happy.”
“This is not a complicated decision. Don’t be hard-headed or stubborn unless you really value being comfortable for a few hours on a single day more than your relationship with your sister.”
“Stop making needless drama for a bride whose already got a lot on her plate. It’s not YOUR day. Just bite the bullet. It’s not hard to be uncomfortable for a few hours. Really, it’s not.” – entomology4lyfe
“YTA. Literally, just buy a pink dress, leave the tag on, return it the next day, and deal with it FOR ONE DAY!” – scemes
“If you’re a part of the wedding party, then just wear what your sister wants and support her on her day. Agreeing to be in the wedding party means agreeing to put the bride’s desires first.”
“If you’re just a guest, then NTA, wear what you want.” – headkicks
“I’ve had to buy a dress I would never wear again for literally every wedding in which I’ve been a bridesmaid. It’s always a running joke where we tell ourselves we might be able to use it again if we reconfigure it, like changing the length, but we all know it’s not going to happen.”
“Most brides are reasonable and pick dresses ~$100. My friends mostly just picked a color and said to pick any style that we like from the same company in that color.”
“This is OP’s sister’s wedding, and she is being asked to match with her other sisters by wearing a pink dress for one day. Surely, she can find a comfortable dress she can wear for a single day. There are many flattering, floor-length dresses with pockets these days!”
“OP, YTA.” – TigerLila
Some were also uncomfortable with the OP’s points about the LGBTQ+ community.
“ESH. You should be able to wear what you want within the dress code of the event.”
“But it rubbed me the wrong way that you complained that your trans auntie can wear a dress and some nonbinary guest also has the freedom to dress their way when those are good things. You seem to imply that it’s not fair that those kinds of people are allowed stuff that you, a cis woman, aren’t.”
“If anything, it shows that your sister is very open minded and chill but is clearly dead set in a particular look for her sisters (which she should relax about, I give you that).” – Puzzleheaded_Play390
“ESH. Trans aunt can wear a dress and NB guests can wear what they like because (a) aunt is a woman, NB guests are not and (b) under the (crappy) rules of this wedding, women apparently must wear dresses, while people who are not women or men can wear what they like.”
“OP clearly has no respect for the gender identities of the attendees and will jump at the chance to cite the genitals and dead genders of these people as a nasty rhetoric device.”
“Basically, ‘I’ll treat you as trans until it‘s convenient to remind everyone what’s in your pants.’ Gross.”
“OP, are you one of those people who will deadname a trans person when you’re mad at them?” – yggdrasilsYeoman
“Well, I’m butch, and I agree that forcing a dress instead of allowing formal wear that fits the theme that OP is comfortable with is an a**hole move, but saying it’s unfair that she wants you to wear a dress because she allowed a trans woman to wear a dress feels weird?”
“Like, it would be maintaining internal consistency of wanting women in dresses to want the aunt in one and not have a preference for non-binary relatives. It’s a weird thing to bring up unless OP was a certain way about trans people. ‘It’s unfair I have to wear a dress because another woman is also expected to wear a dress’ doesn’t make sense.” – sourdough9999
“ESH. You’re 30 and you’re planning on wearing a cosplay dress (as a joke, not even because it’s a beautiful dress) to your sister’s wedding because what? She wants you to match with your other sisters on an important day to her and you’re spiteful about that? Seriously, grow up.”
“Your sister shouldn’t be trying to impose this on you, and she sucks for trying to force you to wear something you don’t want to, but it’s also just one day.”
“You guys need to have an actual ADULT conversation about this. Maybe she can pay for the dress so you don’t have to, or you can wear a pink jumpsuit? There are so many compromise options here.”
“If you honestly try to compromise, and I mean actually compromise, not just say, ‘I hate dresses and refuse to wear one,’ then your sister is being controlling.”
“Also, comparing yourself to your aunt or cousins is completely different. You are immediate family. Even if you’re not a bridesmaid, I guarantee you will be taking nice family photos, so it’s completely different than an extended family member.” – pupperpalace
While the subReddit could understand the OP’s hatred of dresses and discomfort in wearing them, they were divided on how the OP should handle the situation.
Some thought the sister was wrong to require her to wear a dress just to match, while others pointed out that the OP would only be wearing the dress for part of one day, not the rest of her life.