Dad Refuses To Let His 14-Year-Old Daughter Compete In Beauty Pageants After Finding Out His Wife Put Her On A 'Strict Diet'

He didn't want his daughter's health to deteriorate for the sake of participating in beauty pageants.

Beauty pageant winner, man being comforted by partner Jade ThaiCatwalk / Just Life / Shutterstock

A father's decision to no longer allow his daughter to compete in beauty pageants is being defended online after he reveals the reason why he made that choice.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA) — a forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument — he explained that his 14-year-old daughter was exhibiting worrisome habits due to the pressure of competing in beauty pageants.


The man refuses to let his daughter compete in pageants after noticing his wife put her on a 'strict diet.'

In his Reddit post, the 38-year-old dad wrote that he and his wife's daughter has been competing in beauty pageants since she was 4 years old, mostly due to his wife having competed herself when she was younger.

"She seemed to enjoy it and she was good at it. I make enough money to support that hobby, so [my wife] and I decided to let her continue," he shared. While he makes sure to attend as many pageants as he can, it's usually his wife that takes care of everything and preps their daughter for it.


Now at 14, their daughter has received a plethora of prizes and even has a couple of thousand dollars saved up from winning some pageants as well.

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However, as their daughter has gotten older, he's noticed his wife becoming more obsessed with the teenager's appearance.

young girl wearing crownPhoto: Just dance / Shutterstock


"She constantly makes comments about [our daughter's] skin, her hair, her weight, and anything else under the sun that isn’t 'pageant ready.' It’s gotten so bad that [she] has left the dinner table crying on a couple of occasions now," he continued.

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He's tried speaking with his wife about this behavior, but she simply brushes him off. While he usually lets it go, he discovered that his wife was actually forcing their daughter to participate in water fasting and didn't allow her to eat above 950 calories a day.

"I lost it. My daughter is only 14, there is no reason to put her body through so much stress," he rightfully pointed out. It didn't take him long to come to the decision that his daughter would no longer be participating in beauty pageants.


"I also told my wife that she can’t live through [our daughter] and that [she] is her own person and on top of all that a growing child who should be doing childlike things instead of dieting herself to no end," he added. 

He concluded his post by admitting that while his daughter seems happy with the decision, and even thanked him for putting his foot down. He doesn't want to ruin his relationship with his wife, who is upset about the demand and hasn't spoken to him since.

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In the comments section, many people agreed that he made the right choice by putting his daughter's health first.

Most people agreed that he wasn't acting irrationally by fearing for his daughter's mental and physical health, especially when taking into account how ruthless beauty pageants can be on young women. According to a Psychology Today article, a 2005 study found that former childhood beauty pageant contestants had higher rates of body dissatisfaction.


A following study, according to The Hofstra Chronicle, found that among 131 child beauty pageant contestants surveyed, “Over one-fourth (26%) of the women had been told or perceived they had an eating disorder, while "almost half (48.5%) reported wanting to be thinner and 57% were trying to lose weight.” 

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Many people on Reddit were shocked at the blatant disregard that his wife was exhibiting toward their daughter.

"Water fasting is dangerous, and your wife's relationship to food is seriously unhealthy. Your wife is doing physical and psychological damage to your kid," one Reddit user pointed out.


Another user agreed, adding, "You did the right thing. Now, I would get you all into therapy — more for your wife and daughter, because seriously, what her mother did is in no way ok."

"If she got her kid into such a restrictive diet and was making the kid cry during talks, she needs help."

It's crucial that parents are aware of the potential risks associated with beauty pageants and consider the impact they can have on young girls' self-esteem and body image, and should under no circumstances, force them to participate in them if their health is being put into question.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.