When we see our children in physical or emotional pain, it's natural to want to do everything we can to help them feel better. One mom recently thought she did just that by waxing her daughter's eyebrows after the girl was bullied for them.
But Mom wound up getting into a huge fight with her husband over the waxing. So she took to Reddit to find out who was in the wrong.
The mom, who has since deleted her post in the AITA subreddit, explained that her daughter had a "pretty thick dark unibrow that is very noticeable." Her cousins were bullying her, and the poor girl was understandably upset. And with school coming up, Mom was worried the bullying would get worse.
"They'd call her countless names, and at just 5 years old, my daughter already thinks she is ugly," Mom said. "It breaks my heart because nobody (let alone a 5-year-old) should think they are ugly. I reassure my daughter she is beautiful and not to listen to her cousins, but my daughter still believes she is ugly."
The situation is heartbreaking. No one, particularly a child so young, should be made to feel badly about their body. However, Dad wasn't happy about the waxing. She said the two had a "huge fight," accusing her of holding her 5-year-old to "beauty standards."
"[He said] that at such a young age I'm pushing [these beauty standards] on her, instead of telling her she is beautiful the way she is," the mom said.
Though Mom understands, she says she was just trying to help her child: "My daughter told me she wanted to get rid of her unibrow. And I didn't want her to grow up with the bullying and teasing and blame me because I could have prevented it."
She wanted to know if she did the right thing. Though the mom deleted her original post, more than 3.2K comments remain. And most commenters agreed with her anti-bullying move.
"Having a unibrow that she already hated at 5 years old could have ruined her self-esteem for years," one top commenter replied. "Elementary school kids are probably the worst school bullies out there, and what they say/do can [have] life-long effect," wrote another. "Kids are freakin' mean. Nowadays IDGAF, but back then, I really internalized the bullying," someone said.
Another Redditor had personal experience with a facial feature that made them feel different.
"As a child, I had a mole on my face that I hated, and everyone could see it," the Redditor said. "It really messed with my self-esteem, and I was teased so much. When I finally had it removed, I felt amazing, and there was an instant improvement [in] how I was treated by others. I so wish my parents would have just let me remove it at a young age."
Of course, this situation is particularly tough—and spurs some pretty important discussions on consent and body acceptance.
And though Redditors supported this mom, people were far less supportive of Kim Kardashian when they suspected she waxed her daughter, North's, eyebrows. On the one hand, waxing can be painful, and the girl may be too young to consent (a reason some parents cite for not getting their infant's ears pierced).
The 5-year-old also didn't ask for the wax specifically, and this could have been an opportunity to reiterate to her daughter that she was beautiful just the way she was. That said, the mom says she didn't have a problem with it, and kids can be so mean—so maybe it wasn't such a bad idea.
Parenting often isn't so black and white, and sometimes we just have to do the best we can and hope it was the right choice.
Regardless, hopefully, if the daughter ever speaks up and says she'd prefer to embrace her eyebrows as they are, the mom will validate her choice. And, perhaps most importantly, Mom will teach her daughter to stand up to bullies and report the incidents if they are severe and persistent.