I (44m) have been raising my daughter (Jessica, 19f) solo since my wife passed away 7 years ago. We have adjusted well and are very close, and our open line of communication and connection has helped us both immensely.
My daughters' friends' moms, as well as my wife's mother, have been helpful to me as I've done my best to parent a teenage daughter. One thing that has come up the last year or so is Jessica's posts to social media, particularly Instagram. I don't believe my daughter is out of line in anything she posts, although she does show off her figure more and more since she left for college.
My mother in law called over the summer to express "concern" over a recent post my daughter had made. The photo was admittedly in a small bikini, probably her most daring post yet, but nothing too wild.
I let my mother in law know I am supportive of Jessica expressing herself, even in a bikini, and that I felt strongly that her hourglass figure shouldn't be held against her. I believe that just because others notice her body in a bikini doesn't mean she should feel guilty about it.
My daughter overheard this conversation (not my intent!) and gave me a huge hug afterward, thanking me. She told me she appreciated it, and that I should feel free to green light/red light her photos if I think they are "too much or too little" as she put it.
I said if she wanted to run photos by me before she posted them, I'd be happy to do so, although I wouldn't give her a "yes or no" - that's her call. She appreciated this.
I mentioned this recently to my mother in law, and she had only one reaction: that's "weird." I told her it was "weird" that she seemed to be sexualizing my daughter. AITA? I don't know if I am being naive about all this?
NTA. Your daughter is 19 not 10, she’s growing up and budding sexuality and physicality is all part of it as she gains confidence in herself. I’m unsure why people are reading you as being creepy for saying she has an hourglass figure, it’s not like you were salivating over her. People are gross, you sound like a good dad, NTA.
NTA. You’re mother in law is just concerned. If I had a granddaughter I probably wouldn’t want to see her daring pics either. Your daughter can limit you’re mother in law seeing all her posts lol
NTA. Your MIL was just expressing concern and I get it as she grew up and was influenced by a much more modest time than that that we now live in. It's good that you and your daughter can discuss what is a good boundary and what is not. She's 19 and totally capable of making her own call on this matter, I'd say.
NTA. You're doing right by your daughter in understanding that she's now an adult and can make these decisions for herself. No one would bat an eye at her in person on the beach in a bikini so it shouldn't be a big deal online.
However, being from an older generation I can understand where your mil is coming from. While she may not be fully right or wrong in her thinking I want to say it should be appreciated that she brought her concerns to you and not your daughter first.
Absolutely positively NTA and you’re a awesome dad!!
She’s 19 she can post whatever she wants! you are so lucky your daughter cares about your input at all, so just ignore your MIL.