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'AITA for secretly swapping out my mom's bridesmaid dress?' 'I've got no business protecting mom from reality.'

'AITA for secretly swapping out my mom's bridesmaid dress?' 'I've got no business protecting mom from reality.'

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"AITA for secretly swapping out my mom's bridesmaid dress?"

My mom bought a bridesmaid dress online for her friend's upcoming wedding. She would typically wear an XL but when it came in, it didn't fit her. She has a ton of body issues (not her fault, my grandma was awful to her), and I don't like to see her get so down on herself.

The dress not fitting was really a problem with the shape of the dress vs my mom's body shape. She's an apple shape with a wide rib cage, and this dress has an empire waist that is weirdly tight at the waist, cut well for an hourglass or pear shape, but it wouldn't zip for my mom.

She asked me if I could let the dress out to fit her, and I told her I'd work on it (I sew). I ended up ordering another of the exact same dress to fit her measurements but I had to go up to like a 5x to get one with a waist that would fit her rib cage.

I knew she'd be mortified, even if it's just a subjective size, so I swapped the tags inside the dress and told her that I contacted the company and they'd mislabeled her first dress as an XL by accident and had sent her the correct XL dress.

Obviously the 5x fit her ribs like a glove and then I was able to take in the bust and shoulders to fit her really well, and added flutter sleeves (it was sleeveless and they made her more comfortable).

She loves the dress now and happily believes that it's an XL, but my sister found out what I did when she found the original dress in my closet. (I couldn't return it because I took the size tag out). She wheedled the story out of me and she's furious with me for it.

She's saying that lying to my mom does her no favors and indulges her body image issues instead of convincing her to own them. She's saying I robbed her of a chance to see how size is just a subjective number and now she's going to be mortified if she figures it out and twice as humiliated if she realizes I hid the truth.

My sister is threatening to tell her. She yelled at me that I'm not allowed to say what mom's ready for. She's says I've got no business protecting mom from reality. I feel like my sister is acting really triggered but I don't know why, and I don't see what's so bad about considering my mom's feelings.

Please tell me if I'm not seeing this clearly and if my sister is right, because maybe she is, but I feel like she's just being weird. I finally got her to agree not to tell mom until after the wedding, but I'm not sure I trust her.

For clarification: this is my older sister, 7 years older than me. I'm 34, mom is 60. We also have a little brother. I've struggled with my size my whole life and recently lost a lot of weight so I feel like I understand how my mom feels more than my sister does because she's been rail thin her whole life. I'm also closer to my mom and know how badly she'll overreact. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Lisbei said:

NTA but your sister is definitely the A. I can tell you from experience that trying to convince someone from your mom’s generation that size is a subjective issue and that she should own her body is not going to work, like at all. You tried to do a good thing. Your only mistake was not destroying the evidence, heh. Maybe ask your sister why she wants to hurt her own mother so badly?

Major_Barnacle_2212 said:

NTA. You altered the dress to fit, as requested. If altering it by replacing it and swapping the tag is what it took, there was no need to explain the details to your mom. She loved the dress.

Your sister is the one with a complex about this. Neither of you need to use a dress size as a teachable moment. Literally the only moment that matters is the one where she tries in the dress and loved it. Whatever it takes to put your sister in her place - including sharing these comments - do it. Her motivation seems to be more to hurt your mom than help her.

starbiebarbie99 said:

NTA - You did something kind to and your sister is so deep into the chronically online ulta body positivity crap that she doesn't even possess empathy anymore. It's really gross. If it's "just a number" why does your sister even care so much?

Pterodactyl_Noises said:

I think you're a wonderful daughter, and your sister is truly the opposite. Get rid of the other dress ASAP. NTA.

KittenMadeOfStardust said:

NTA. You're an absolute sweetheart for doing that for your mother, and giving her some confidence and happiness. It hurts no-one. Your sister on the other hand, would rather hurt your mother than let her have a lovely moment of feeling good and comfortable in her own skin at a special event.

I agree with the other commenter who said to show your sister these comments. She needs to know that telling your mother is only going to knock her down in a moment when she would otherwise be feeling good.

Fit_Following_6841 said:

NTA. This was a sensitive and kind thing to do, considering your mom’s emotions regarding weight and body image. You are a loving daughter (and a good seamstress!) Your sister, on the other hand…

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