Parents want to give me a 'makeover'

(133 Posts)
UndertheCedartree Tue 27-Jul-21 15:30:53

So the backstory is my parents have always been focused on appearance. I was always expected to look smart as a child and encouraged to wear shoes with little heels and makeup from quite young. As part of this they focus on weight a lot. When I was very unwell a few years ago I lost a lot of weight and was underweight. They appeared delighted and said how great I looked!

Anyway, I've not seen them for a long time due to Covid as they live in a different country to me. But they have now come over to visit. I'm sure I look quite different to last time they saw me as due to a low thyroid and medication I have gained weight and obviously I probably look a little older. I've had Long Covid and just starting to get over it which hasn't helped. But it is what is it.

My DM said today they would like to give me a 'makeover'. They want to pay for me to have my hair done, a facial and to take me shopping for clothes in particular 'a nice dress'. My initial reaction was to feel pleased and thank them for it. But they've gone now and I notice I feel a bit rubbish like my appearance is being judged again. I realise that in the time I've not seen them my confidence in my appearance has improved massively despite objectively looking worse!

By the way I know they have done this to be nice and it is very generous of them. And it is up to me to deal with my reaction to it.

So AIBU to feel bad about being told I need a makeover?
YANBU - it makes sense you feel like that and doesn't make you ungrateful
YABU - you are being very ungrateful and reading too much into it

OP’s posts: |
Skiptheheartsandflowers Tue 27-Jul-21 15:34:55

You could say 'listen, thanks so much for the offer, but now I've had chance to think I have realised it's not something I want to do right now.'

Lindy2 Tue 27-Jul-21 15:41:20

It's hard to tell without really knowing their motivation.

If appearance and grooming is important to them then it's likely that they regard a make over as a lovely thing to have and to gift to someone. They know you've had a tough time and they want to treat you (in a way they regard as a treat).

If it's done in a, you need to sort yourself out, kind of way then that's not very kind.

Personally I love a haircut and a facial so I'd be very happy with their offer. I'd make sure to steer the clothes choice to something I liked though. No one wants their mum dressing them once they are an adult.

MindyStClaire Tue 27-Jul-21 15:43:25

If it's as a treat because you've had a difficult time, then say thank you and enjoy.

If it's criticism then say no thank you.

NiceGerbil Tue 27-Jul-21 15:47:18

Ignore the underlying thing about them obsessed with you being 'pretty'. That's their problem.

If you would like any of the things just say thank you and do them. I'd take the hair and face (would love to have an hour lying down with nothing to do!) and swerve the hideous pretty dress shopping. You'll have to try on things they choose, twirl, then accept the criticism from their judges panel. Fuck that!

MrsEko Tue 27-Jul-21 15:48:04

You don't have to be grateful. If someone offers you something it's up to you to decide whether you want it or not and either way you don't t have to be grateful.

If you want the haircut and or facial then say yes and have them. Obviously somewhere you want to go and on your own. If there is a suggestion of them going with you I wouldn't be on board with that!

Same for the dress. Have you seen anything you like recently?

grasstreeleaf Tue 27-Jul-21 15:57:17

People often give gifts that they would like themselves. If they value appearance very highly to them it is probably the most fantastic gift ever.

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grasstreeleaf Tue 27-Jul-21 15:59:07

I think the best way is to take what you can enjoy from it and be thankful for it.

DrunkenKoala Tue 27-Jul-21 16:00:54

Would you be choosing the new hairstyle, make up and clothes or will it be them? If yes then treat it as a treat, but if no would you be comfortable with what they choose for you?

Iamnotminterested Tue 27-Jul-21 16:09:06

Sorry OP, but you lost me at the first sentence of your post. I could not be bothered to spend time with people, least of all parents who focus on appearance above all else.

NeverDropYourMooncup Tue 27-Jul-21 16:15:13

How did you feel when you had the facial and your hair done? Good? Enjoying the sensations of something that was purely for your benefit/wellbeing rather than dealing with Covid or Thyroid issues? Then treated to something else when you wouldn't have spent money on yourself?

Take any good feelings you had at the time and hold on to those. They did something that made you feel better after a long time of feeling awful. What else could they have done that was just for you and to make you feel better for even a short time? Chuck you money that you'd spend on washing powder or the electric bill? Would you have said 'Oh, no, not for me, spend the money on the kids/cat/house/whatever/I'm not worth it'?

Facial treatments, massages and haircuts are things that are given as gifts because they are for the pleasure of the recipient - to feel good. it's why I've trained DP in doing them and reciprocate with pedicures

godmum56 Tue 27-Jul-21 16:20:03

NeverDropYourMooncup

How did you feel when you had the facial and your hair done? Good? Enjoying the sensations of something that was purely for your benefit/wellbeing rather than dealing with Covid or Thyroid issues? Then treated to something else when you wouldn't have spent money on yourself?

Take any good feelings you had at the time and hold on to those. They did something that made you feel better after a long time of feeling awful. What else could they have done that was just for you and to make you feel better for even a short time? Chuck you money that you'd spend on washing powder or the electric bill? Would you have said 'Oh, no, not for me, spend the money on the kids/cat/house/whatever/I'm not worth it'?

Facial treatments, massages and haircuts are things that are given as gifts because they are for the pleasure of the recipient - to feel good. --it's why I've trained DP in doing them and reciprocate with pedicures--

I don't think its happened yet

Griselda1 Tue 27-Jul-21 16:24:43

You've had a difficult time so why not just accept their gift and don't overthink it.

Crowsaregreat Tue 27-Jul-21 16:25:30

You're unhappy because they're focused on making you look better, whether or not it makes you feel better. They should care about how you are feeling, particularly whether you're doing ok with the long covid. I imagine you perceive it as them communicating that you are not good enough. Understandably, this will impact your self worth.

I'd say no thanks and book into a counsellor to explore it a bit more, you need to understand the dynamics of this as it clearly causes you upset and I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg. Maybe they are well meaning and you can find a way to interact with them that doesn't feel damaging. Don't ignore your feelings though!

grasstreeleaf Tue 27-Jul-21 16:26:34

*reciprocate with pedicures*
Crikey, you're brave!shock grin

MMMarmite Tue 27-Jul-21 16:27:19

I realise that in the time I've not seen them my confidence in my appearance has improved massively despite objectively looking worse!

This is very telling.

I'd say "thanks but no thanks". Anyone offering a gift for in good faith would be happy to change the plan if it doesn't suit the recipient. If they get in a huff, it wasn't a good faith gift to start with, but a manipulative way of imposing their wishes on you.

30degreesandmeltinghere Tue 27-Jul-21 16:29:02

Accept the hair cut and facial. Buy a great baggy hoody and some joggers..
Cfers..

Siepie Tue 27-Jul-21 16:29:14

NeverDropYourMooncup

How did you feel when you had the facial and your hair done? Good? Enjoying the sensations of something that was purely for your benefit/wellbeing rather than dealing with Covid or Thyroid issues? Then treated to something else when you wouldn't have spent money on yourself?

Take any good feelings you had at the time and hold on to those. They did something that made you feel better after a long time of feeling awful. What else could they have done that was just for you and to make you feel better for even a short time? Chuck you money that you'd spend on washing powder or the electric bill? Would you have said 'Oh, no, not for me, spend the money on the kids/cat/house/whatever/I'm not worth it'?

Facial treatments, massages and haircuts are things that are given as gifts because they are for the pleasure of the recipient - to feel good. --it's why I've trained DP in doing them and reciprocate with pedicures--

It’s not for the pleasure of the recipient if the recipient doesn’t want them. I personally don’t like being touched by strangers for things like facials or hair cuts. They don’t make me feel good.

Different people like different things. The choices aren’t facial or washing powder. Maybe OP prefers to relax with a book, a cinema ticket, a trip to the countryside, a spa with a swimming pool…

grasstreeleaf Tue 27-Jul-21 16:31:50

Don't ignore your feelings though!

No, don't ignore them but remember your feelings can be misdirected. Other people aren't perfect. They give gifts that they themselves would like, in love, but that might involve something they themselves value highly, even if you don't. So there is no need to feel offence or especially hurt if you recognise other people have their limitations. Recognition of this is a good thing as it prevents you from feeling that hurt.

FriedasCarLoad Tue 27-Jul-21 16:32:52

You are not unreasonable to feel uneasy about the idea and to wonder whether they're judging you.

It's also possible they associate feel that being slim and smart is conducive to happiness, and that this is a generous offer from kind motives.

grasstreeleaf Tue 27-Jul-21 16:33:34

It’s not for the pleasure of the recipient if the recipient doesn’t want them.

But people aren't mind readers and if you are grumpy towards them it makes it all the more difficult to get to know what you would like better.

TheChampIsHere Tue 27-Jul-21 16:38:00

Tell them you don’t want the makeover and you’re happy how you are. Based on what you’ve said about their previous behaviour, I’m not convinced this is ‘nice’.

Then be glad they live in another country.😬

gnushoes Tue 27-Jul-21 16:40:05

I wouldn't overthink their motivation and focus on getting what YOU want out of it. A decent haircut is always good and new clothes can be a boost if you've chosen them, ditto shoes. Facial? Not for me ta.

Nerfelite Tue 27-Jul-21 16:40:51

If its being done as 'Here is some money, I will take the kids for a day, you go and treat yourself' that's fine.

If it is being done with conditions on what you have done, how you style your hair, what you buy and that your parents need to have an input, then that is not on.

A gift is not a gift when there are strings attached. I am the heaviest I've ever been. I'm also the happiest I have ever been about my appearance. Unfortunately, some people can't accept that. But that's there issue, not mine.

aiwblam Tue 27-Jul-21 16:42:39

Given that you say they are obsessed with appearance, I would consider this pretty offensive and interfering.

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