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Man asks if he was wrong to take some family photos without Goth stepchild.

Man asks if he was wrong to take some family photos without Goth stepchild.


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

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 wife's side since mine are pretty scattered around.

The past pictures were fine, but some tended to wear pajama-type outfits (mostly pj pants and a t-shirt) to Thanksgiving. No big deal to me, but the 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 on the day of Thanksgiving my wife's cousin Sarah's family arrived, and they have 3 step children. Two were dressed in pajamas, but had a change of clothes. Sarah goes up to me and says please don't be mad. A second later, the oldest Sam (NB 14/15) came dressed 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 didn't say anything else. My wife gave me a look, but then walked 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. I'm 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?

Here's what people had to say:

Pronebasilisk writes:

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.

kaydeetee86 writes:

YTA. Did you never have a goth or emo phase? I’m 36 with a 15 y/o daughter. It’s her job to test limits. It’s my job to enforce them, without being awful to her in the process.

Satanic-nic writes:

YTA who really cares what they were wearing - they were there. But in the 'main' photo you chose to exclude Sam. The real question is why you have such an issue with someone looking slightly different to the rest of the group - regardless of reason. Your coming off as a bit if a control freak.

Censoring Sam for going against what you want is not a 'live and let live' move - its more a 'I want what I want fuck everyone else' move. Who made you supreme leader? Definitely 100% YTA

Update from OP:

Sam thought it was funny that I had asked people to dress nice and wanted to play a prank on me and put it on TicToc. 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 before changing into their normal clothes for pictures. Not sure if Sam's parents knew of the prank or not.

More comments after the update:

Ezridax82 writes:

But prank or not, having the pictures IS a nice thing. One person’s outfit doesn’t change the idea that the whole family is together.

Barkleyslakjssrtqwe OP responded:

I'm okay with people dressing however they want. Sam typically dresses goth like 2 or 3 out of 10... they took it to a 9. It was clearly a joke or to be rebellious. If they always dressed like that I wouldn't have an issue.

Ezridax82 writes:

But whether they usually dress like that or not, how does it make it any less of the family getting together for a photo to remember? A photo like this is typically about the people, not the clothes.

Barkleyslakjssrtqwe OP responded:

The picture with Sam in goth/kiss costume makes them the focus right away. It is so far out of style for them. Everyone who knows Sam will focus on them. Wonder why they are dressed so far out of the normal for Sam.

SaintWalker2814 writes:

YTA. Sounds like Sam was wanting to play a harmless prank, and I do mean HARMLESS. It’s just an outfit and it’s just a picture. Grow up.

Barkleyslakjssrtqwe OP responded:

You probably enjoy those youtuber parents that prank their kids.

Sources: Reddit
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