A woman has taken to the internet to ask if she’s in the wrong, after her sister-in-law requested she change out of her bikini while she was in her own house.
In a detailed Reddit thread, the woman said she had spent the coronavirus lockdown Marie-Kondo-ing her wardrobe, which meant getting rid of all her old swimsuits, which had lost their elasticity.
She decided to keep one bikini in her closet for the warmer months so she could easily take a dip in her pool without having to go out and buy a new one.
The woman, who appears to live in the US, had a family gathering at her house last weekend because it was a hot day, she has a pool in her back garden and they hadn’t seen each other properly in three months because of the coronavirus restrictions.
Her husband’s parents, her sister-in-law, brother-in-law and their two children, nine and six, all came over for a day at the pool.
The woman changed into her bikini for the pool party and that’s where things took a rather odd turn.
“So we're all in the backyard BBQing and getting ready to swim. I change into my swimwear and come outside and start applying sunscreen,” she wrote.
“SIL (sister-in-law) rushes over to me and pulls me aside and asks that I cover up or change into something less revealing like a one-piece as niece has been sensitive lately and dealing with some body image issues regarding feeling fat (she's not).”
The woman said she told her sister-in-law that regrettably that was her only swimsuit and due to the weather being so hot, she planned to swim that day after her sunscreen had dried in and that she would be more than happy to throw something on over the top of it until she was in the water.
“She then asked me if I could just go inside then at least until the sunscreen soaks in and come out covered up.”
The woman was shocked, telling her sister-in-law that she had no intention of hiding in her own house for 30 minutes while she had company over.
Her sister-in-law then proceeded to tell her that it would hurt her daughter to see her in a two-piece because of her "unrealistic body image".
“I tell her there's nothing unrealistic about me because I'm a real person so I don't even know what that means, and I'm sure niece will be fine for only 30 mins. I also said that while I sympathize with body image issues as I've dealt with them in the past myself, it's probably not helping to just shelter her from seeing people's bodies and maybe work on body positivity instead,” the woman said.
Her sister-in-law went on to tell her that she didn’t understand because she didn’t have kids and brought her daughter inside for over half an hour while the woman let her sunscreen dry in.
“I don't know if i'm in the wrong here, maybe I could have just gone inside for a while to spare my niece's feelings but at the same time I feel like I shouldn't have to hide my body - and at my own house for that matter,” the woman wrote.
“And it was just a two-piece, it wasn't like really booby or revealing - the top was high-cut kinda like a sports bra and the bottoms were normal bikini cut, they weren't like a thong bottom or anything.”
She went on to say that she didn’t notice her niece being upset but definitely could see that her sister-in-law was.
“I don't want to add to her body image issues and feel kinda bad now reflecting on it in case I made her feel bad,” she wrote, asking others if she should have handled the situation differently.
“Your house, your body. If someone has a problem with it, they're welcome to leave. I have a feeling that the niece isn't the one with the body-image problems,” one person commented, telling her she was totally in the right to wear what she wanted by the pool.
“It's a pool party & if in fact " niece " has problems why go over? You don't tell host to cover up in their own home & pool. Think mom has the issue not the 9 yr old,” another said.
“It’d be super sad if SIL has been the one projecting and that’s where niece is getting the body image issues. Especially the line about unrealistic body images gave me pause,” a commenter wrote.
The woman then edited her post to add: ”There's a lot of people dragging SIL in the comments, but I will note that she's generally a good person even though she may have come off badly in my post, I personally don't think it's her fault and suspect social media or peer pressure is the cause of niece feeling bad about her body, but that's just my personal speculation.”