'I have always told my girls that I have their back and I think I've proven that.'
Picture it, 1984 in some poorly lit gym complete with hopefully nonspiked punch and teenagers dancing awkwardly in the shortest homecoming dresses the '80s could produce. Now, take that image and apply it to whatever decade you'd like, all the way up to today. No one would be shocked that teenagers going to homecoming would dress like teenagers, but when a proud dad posted pictures of his daughters dolled up in their party dresses, he was flooded with negative comments.
Orlando's News 6 anchor Matt Austin did what many parents did in October and shared a picture of himself with his kids, who were heading out for homecoming. The girls, Addison, 17, and Olivia, 14, both donned different versions of the short homecoming style dress most American teenage girls wore to their own school's dance.
But for some reason, instead of receiving an influx of supportive and kind comments, the news anchor received harsh criticism over his children's clothes.
One woman told Austin, "These outfits these girls are wearing are exactly what call girls wear." Another commenter said, "I do not understand how a parent could be comfortable with their daughter's crotches on display should they bend over or sit." The comment seemed to catch Austin off guard as he told the disappointed person that his daughters were wearing shorts under their dresses and he took a moment to express his confusion over the person's focus on his daughters' private parts.
No worries, because other parents jumped in to not only defend the dad but to compliment the girls and wish them well at their dance. The amount of negative comments was surprising because homecoming dresses are typically fairly short and schools still enforce dress codes at dances. These dresses clearly passed whatever the school's dress code is and were in style.
The comment section does a great job at displaying the double standard placed on girls. For some reason, girls are being placed as the sole responsible party for the actions and thoughts of people around them, namely men. Several commenters pointed that out.
Denise Massey wrote, "All those comments about their dresses is just sad. If parents raise their sons to respect women no matter what they wear the world would be a safer place. They look beautiful and I applaud you and your wife for raising them with the confidence to wear what they like. Hope that had a blast at Homecoming."
Austin told Today Parents that he was shocked his daughters' outfits would even be controversial. The negative comments put the news anchor in protector mode and he posted an amazing clapback to TikTok. His message was pretty clear: the most disappointing things his daughters could do would be to grow up to be the kind of adult that commented on teen girls' appearance on their parent's social media page.
A dad responds to Karens taking aim at teen daughters’ Homecoming dresses. #fashiontiktok #parentsoftiktok -#fypシ #hoco
The message Austin was sending seems loud enough for the naysayers to hear so let's hope they reflect on their actions. Teenage girls are not responsible for the thoughts and behaviors of teenage boys and grown men. Several commenters agreed by encouraging others to raise better men.
Thankfully, the good comments seemed to outpace the negative ones and while he teased that he would prefer his daughters wear Snuggies, the girls approved his message after they saw the messages. The bottom line is: be kind and if you can't be kind, be quiet.