Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To think a father should compliment their daughter?

21 replies

feelingshittyagain · 24/06/2017 22:15

So our daughter had her prom recently. She's not the most confident of girls, she's had mental health issues (anxiety and depression) over the past couple of years but at the moment she's in a fabulous place. She was really nervous about the prom because she thought she would be the shortest, the ugliest etc. I have been really supportive and encouraging and I have advised my DH about her fears.

So on the day, she looks stunning, really beautiful. Her brother made me cry (happy tears) with his reaction/comments. Her dad, my dh, first comment was 'her make ups too light' (it wasn't). When I said she looks gorgeous he said 'yes she does' but that was it. Nothing further. Am I being unreasonable to think he should have said more? I was bursting with pride, she looked so happy. He seemed more impressed with the posh car he had borrowed to take her in! Is it just a male/female thing? Do women just gush more than men?

OP posts:

LRDtheFeministDragon · 24/06/2017 22:22

It's not a male/female thing.

When I clicked on your thread I thought I might well disagree. But I totally agree. It's not that he didn't compliment her - it's that he knows she could do with positive reassurance, and he said something needlessly critical. It's not up to him to say her makeup or any other aspect of her appearance is wrong!

I think saying her makeup was too light is especially hurtful, as she might take it as an indication she only looks 'pretty' when very covered up.

I hope your DD managed to have a great time despite her dad.


feelingshittyagain · 24/06/2017 23:01

Yes thank you she had a fabulous evening and was told on numerous occasions how gorgeous she looked.

OP posts:

Rainatnight · 24/06/2017 23:03

Hm, not good. What's he like with her more generally.


AgentZigzag · 24/06/2017 23:08

Out of all the thousands of things he could have said 'her make ups too light' was the best he could come up with??

Not even a platitude someone off the street who didn't know your DD would say?

You'd even set him up to say something nice and he just couldn't manage it.

Is this normal for him? Is he positive about other things in his life?

And if it is normal, could the way he was with her be linked in any way to her anxiety, feelings of being unworthy and fears about what other people think of her?

Thank goodness she has you to compensate.

(my DD1 has her prom in a couple of weeks and I'm going to feel just the same as you. It was only a couple of years ago they were babies wasn't it? Shock )


LRDtheFeministDragon · 24/06/2017 23:12

Well, good for her for shrugging it off and having a good time!

But you really need to talk to him. Don't let him hide behind this idea that women gush more than men. I know lots of proud dads and they would all be just as thrilled as you are at a daughter who'd coped with mental illness. Not to mention the fact that it's basic politeness to compliment someone going out for a special event.


AgentZigzag · 24/06/2017 23:14

Thinking about what you said in your OP, you specifically told your husband how anxious your DD was about how she looked and he must have known how important the night was to her, but he couldn't see any role for himself in bolstering her self esteem and instead just criticised her.

That's very sad actually, for you watching on and for your beautiful daughter, who was overtly fishing for supportive messages that she's in no way ugly and looked amazing.


gillybeanz · 24/06/2017 23:16

He agreed that she looked nice and maybe thought the colour on her face was too pale.

I don't believe in all this princess doesnt she look lovely crap and believe it's just as bad to do this as your dh comments tbh.
I believe in honesty and free opinion and there's nothing to say your dh wasn't right about the colour.
Sorry, I don't see the problem tbh and I have a daughter.


MrsTerryPratchett · 24/06/2017 23:24

I do think we spend too much time telling girls they look beautiful. I know we think we're boosting their confidence, but what we are actually doing is telling them, over and over again, that being beautiful is important for them. We don't do it to boys. We might say, "looking good" or something throw away.

However, she'd dressed up and wanted some approval. He wasn't willing to give it.


feelingshittyagain · 24/06/2017 23:25

It's becoming a common thing, he's not very positive about anything really unless it benefits him! Generally they have an ok relationship but it's not a close one.

OP posts:

feelingshittyagain · 24/06/2017 23:30

I agree about overly telling girls they're beautiful but this was a special occasion and she very rarely dresses up or wears make-up. I suppose I expected her first male role model to be much more complimentary. I felt the same towards my son on his prom day, very proud and bursting to tell him how handsome he looked (which I did to his embarrassment).

OP posts:

NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom · 24/06/2017 23:33

Not as a rule no, sorry.
Maybe he just struggled under presure & said any old bollocks that sprang to mind?


gillybeanz · 24/06/2017 23:35

OP, I understand how he could have been out of order now, given the context. Is he depressed? I ask because of your comment about him lacking positivity in anything, is this just recently?

I do agree with Mrs Terry though and think that we should be teaching girls that they are lovely looking natural and they don't need to wear make up and get dressed up to look nice.


NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom · 24/06/2017 23:36

& I am very guilty of telling DC how gorgeous they are, mainly because no one told me so when I now get complimented on any aspect of my look I think whoever says it is taking the piss... Ice Queen, moi? No Sad


feelingshittyagain · 24/06/2017 23:40

Gilly I agree, I am always complimenting both my kids, I think it's important for their self esteem. She's a beautiful young lady with or without makeup and a beautiful person. She just doesn't believe it. And yes I think he may be depressed or going through some mid-life crisis as everything is boring atm. He doesn't have a problem though if I try to talk to him. He's in denial

OP posts:

AgentZigzag · 24/06/2017 23:40

This wasn't 'princess doesn't she look lovely' crap gilly.

Princessey crap to me is over indulgence and constant OTT complements as a matter of course.

This was a specific time when OP's DD could allow herself to feel good about herself, and he shat all over it.

Would you really choose to do the same to your DD knowing she was feeling anxious about how she looked at an important event for her?

That you'd think it'd be a great time to tell her the make up she chose wasn't the right colour IYO? Hmm

You see posts about mums who like to crush their DC at every opportunity all the time on here, delighting in their reputation of calling a spade a spade.

Him giving his free opinion instead of trying to make his DD feel even better like everyone else was a spiteful thing to do.


SabineUndine · 24/06/2017 23:41

My father was rude about my appearance right through my teens in a supposedly jokey way. It wasn't funny and wrecked my confidence. Tell your OH to stfu.


TheStoic · 24/06/2017 23:45

God I can't stand people like that.

If her own father can't compliment her on this occasion, I bet he never has.

And she will internalise that and take that with her into every relationship she ever has.


feelingshittyagain · 24/06/2017 23:48

Mine too Sabine. One occasion still haunts me to this day, I had really long hair until I was 13 and decided I wanted it short. I came home from the hair dressers and the first thing my dad did was laugh out loud and say 'you look like a boy!!' I can still feel the sting of tears, I was so upset. So now I'm really aware of complimenting and encouraging at the right time, not unnecessarily but when needed.

Agent, I too thought it was spiteful, it was unnecessary to point it out, especially as it wasn't true

OP posts:

AgentZigzag · 24/06/2017 23:49

X post.

Whether he's having a midlife crisis etc or not is irrelevant, he shouldn't be taking out on your DD, she deserves more.

And I agree with Sabine, she may have been able to shrug it off so she can have a good time that night, but there will more than likely be long term shit connected to it.


LRDtheFeministDragon · 24/06/2017 23:50

gilly, I see where you're coming from, but if it were that, he'd hardly have said her makeup was too light!


emmyrose2000 · 25/06/2017 01:28

Your husband was very nasty. Of course he should've complimented her!

If a girl can't even get a compliment from her own patent/s when she's all dressed up for a special occasion, then when can she?! (Ditto for sons/parents).

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?