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'AITA for not allowing my cousin's goth step-child in the family photo?' UPDATED

'AITA for not allowing my cousin's goth step-child in the family photo?' UPDATED


"AITA for not allowing my cousins step child in the family photo?"

Here's the original post:

TLDR: Asked extended family to not wear PJs for Thanksgiving pictures b/c wifes full family of 4 generations all were coming. One teen wanted to play a prank to put up in tictoc. Dressed up as a hardcore goth/kiss character with makeup. Took group photo with them and without them.

My (M 30s) family grew up taking a big family Thanksgiving picture that is used for Christmas cards. I kept the tradition going with my family. We host thanksgiving every year and its always around 20+ people. Most family we hang out with are from my wifes side since mine are pretty scattered around.

The past pictures were fine but some tended to wear pajamas type outfits (mostly pj pants and a tshirt) to Thanksgiving. No big deal to me but past picture was mixed with mostly nicely dressed people and then a random few in pajamas.

This year I texted each family and asked them to have a nice but casual outfit for the picture but feel free to dress however they want the rest of the day. I even said jeans and a nice shirt is okay for the picture.

So day of Thanksgiving. My wifes cousin Sarah's family arrived that included 3 step children. 2 dressed in pajamas but had a change of clothe. Sarah goes up to me and says please don't be mad. A second later, the oldest Sam (NB 14/15) came dress in a full goth outfit, chains, black makeup, and spiked dyed hair.

Normally, they dress slightly they prefer black but nothing crazy. Never before have they even gone close to this 'hardcore'. They said something like, 'hope you like the outfit, I'm wearing this for the picture.' I forgot what I said but it was barely anything. Probably a grunt or uh huh. I say to Sarah, 'they can't wear that in the picture.'

I don't say anything else, my wife gives me the look but then walks away. I get back to cooking for the 20+ people. Picture time comes and we take the group photo w/ Sam included. Then I tell Sam I would like a few pictures without them in it. They try to get argumentative and I said along the lines of, 'you knew I asked people to dress nicely just for a group photo.

You purposely dressed like this to spite me and I have no idea why.' It was awkward but Sarah told Sam to step aside and we took the photo. Day goes on fine and I know people probably talked. Today I saw some facebook posts mentioning the situation and its annoying me. I stand by my decision and not sure if I'll respond privately or not.

So AITA for kicking Sam out of the family photo because of the way they dressed?


I never had a problem with Sam before. We chat about stuff every family gathering and they typically always helped me with cooking. I would've been fine with their typical goth outfits but they clearly went overboard with their outfit, hair, and makeup.

Do you think OP is the @$$hole? Here's what top commenters had to say:

Pronebasilisk said:

YTA - So you're saying you didn't have a rebellious teenage phase? It's a family picture. Not one family is this perfect little image that you are trying to force. In the future, anyone looking at that photo would have probably just said "yep, that's so-so", and moved on. But way to say "you're not welcome in the family!" to a 14yo just trying either A) be rebellious or B) express themselves.

Professional_Grab513 said:

Sorry but for all the people saying the AH first they are hosts of this event cooking for 20 plus people. Their home their rules. Requesting nice outfits usually doesn't mean eccentric behavior. I'm gonna get down voted but NTA. Even their mom said "don't be mad." So she knew they were pushing the limits. Mom of kid can instill some manners about being guests when op is doing that much work cooking.

[deleted] said:

You sound exhausting and don’t think I’d want to be in your family picture. Guess what this is reality no family is perfect. Your “perfect staged” photos don’t allow people to be themselves. YTA

meg_peaches said:

NTA ! they came looking for an argument, it’s not appropriate for a photo or how they usually dress. the first thing they said to you was basically “f you im wearing this for the photo” clearly argumentative. you asked them to dress nicely, they didn’t listen and you still took photos with them just took some without as well because you wanted everyone to look NICE.

there’s clear dress codes for things and it’s not stripping the child of their identity to ask them to dress nicely for a family photo. there’s dress codes at graduations, schools, and work places. how is sam going to deal with that ? i’m 16 and was very alt- my hair was dyed a bunch of different colors just last year and i wore heavy eyeliner and out there clothing.

i dyed my hair to a reddish brown and became more mild in how i express myself because i literally couldn’t get a job and i was TRYING TO BABYSIT. no one wants to leave kids w someone who looks like they belong in my chemical romance. it’s inappropriate. thanksgiving is a family event and the way they dressed was inappropriate.

Later, OP shared this update on the situation:

My wife emailed all the pictures from Thanksgiving. Only sent the family photo with Sam to everyone and not the one excluding them. Sam was doing the air guitar and a funny face. Someone pointed out Sam was also flipping off the camera with their 'strumming hand.' One person in the email group requested the other family photo b/c Sam flipped off the camera. My wife sent it to everyone in the email.

Sam decided to call me instead of waiting for friendsgiving this weekend. They wanted to explain what happened. They thought it was funny I ask people to dress nice and wanted to play a prank on me and put it on . They took a part of their halloween outfit and modified it to be a full hardcore goth outfit with crazy hair and makeup.

They wanted to get a reaction out of me for a TikTok video before changing into their normal clothes for pictures. Sam hoped my wife or I would be really upset and make scene. Neither of us did even during the photo shoot. It was just slightly awkward so Sam decided not to put up the video.

I did find out they used the costume to scare some of the younger kids 1-4 yrs old and did put those on TikTok. Sams mom made them take those down. We didn't see them b/c we don't have TikTok.

Sam arrived and I didn't say much b/c I was busy cooking and confused/annoyed. They decided to keep the outfit on until I said something. Sam did help me peeling potatoes and other stuff but I never mentioned the outfit. They thought it was a game of chicken at that point.

It got until a little before dinner and I pulled everyone together to start pictures. Sam was surprised b/c we had done pictures after dinner the last 2 yrs. They came up to ask how their outfit was and I just said fine (I didn't really remember this part). So they kept the joke going...Sam said they assumed there would be another group photo later.

Well we got to the group photo and Sam kept egging on the joke hoping to get some big reaction out of. After taking group photo with Sam included, I just told them to step out for a few picture. Sams mom also told them to step aside. They decided to not egg me on in front of everyone and jumped out of the picture.

Pictures happened, we ate dinner and the Sam changed and dressed as they normally do the next 2 days. They later realized there wasn't going to be another group photo. They felt awkward and just didn't bring it up the rest of the weekend. They decided not to use the videos for TikTok.

Sam apologized b/c they knew my wife was big into photo albums and put me in a weird spot. I accepted and told them I'm going to post everything on facebook later. Sam asked me not to b/c its really embarrassing. We are okay now and my wife doesn't care b/c we got the pictures with and without Sam. She will put both in the photo album.

Do you think this was a funny prank?

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