Because social media emboldens the wrong people, even in 2022 strangers feel perfectly comfortable openly shaming young girls for what they wear. Even on their own father’s Facebook page.
In a viral TikTok, one dad is calling out all of the people—grown adults, mind you—who decided to weigh in on his daughter’s homecoming dresses with their outdated and sexist opinions.
Matt Austin is a Florida news anchor and father of girls who, like many proud and loving parents, shared a photo of his daughters before their big homecoming dance on his Facebook page. He captioned it, “My daughters look a little too good on homecoming night. Believe it or not, they’re even more beautiful on the inside.”
It was all fun and games until perfect strangers felt they could share their insulting opinions in the comments section of his page.
“Those outfits are not prom appropriate, those are what women wear to the club when they’re looking for some action. … So sad that parents send their young ladies out with everything showing,” one person said.
“I don’t think I’d be dressed like that around my father,” another wrote. “Those girls are too young to be dressing provocatively they should have respect for themselves.”
“Honestly, I would not let them go anywhere dressed like that!” someone else said.
So Matt decided to record his response on TikTok. And it’s absolutely brilliant.
“One thing that has always pissed me off as a father of girls is when people say things like ‘oh these girls need to dress so they don’t distract the boys’ or even worse ‘they’re dressing in a way in which they’re asking for it’,” he responds.
“Let’s get something clear: It’s not my daughter’s job to make sure your son is focused in school. Also not her job to dress hideous enough to where your son doesn’t assault her. It’s your job to not raise a pervert with no self-control.”
As someone who was once sent home from school for wearing a sleeveless turtleneck, I hate it that girls are still discriminated against when it comes to dress codes. But I love watching parents fight against the rampant sexism of it all.
He jokes that he wishes his girls could wear “24/7 Snuggies” (sigh) but he knows that creating rules about what his daughters can and can’t wear would backfire and be incredibly damaging for a number of reasons.
“If I start dictating what my daughters wear, it’s going to teach them three things,” he says. “A: they’ll start to hate me for arbitrary rules, B, they’ll start to lie to me, or C, which is even worse: that it’s OK for a man to tell them what to wear because they look too good. And that ain’t happening, Karen.”
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He signs off his video with one final message to the, again, GROWN ADULTS who felt zero shame in shaming children for their clothes:
“But you know what would really disappoint me? If my girls grow up to be the type of adult who goes on social media and demean a teen’s appearance on her father’s Facebook page. Now that’s what I call trashy.”