Dads have historically been the parent who is stricter about what their daughters wear out in the world (you’re not leaving the house in that!) but, thank the lord, the tide seems to be changing. There’s no better evidence for this than Matt Austin, a Florida news anchor who went viral on TikTok this month for verbally destroying commenters on his Facebook page who were criticizing what his two daughters wore to their homecoming dance.
It all started when Austin posted a totally innocuous photo with his two daughters before their dance — they’re wearing pretty normal dresses and heels for this day and age, and their dad is beaming with pride. He captioned the photo, “My daughters look a little too good on homecoming night. Believe it or not, they’re even more beautiful on the inside.”
The response, though, was surprising, as dozens of comments rolled in from people who thought the girls looked inappropriate.
“Those outfits are not prom appropriate, those are what women wear to the club when they’re looking for some action. ... So sad that parents send their young ladies out with everything showing,” wrote one.
“I don’t think I’d be dressed like that around my father,” another wrote. “Those girls are too young to be dressing provocatively they should have respect for themselves.”
Austin’s response came in hot, and he left no prisoners.
“One thing that has always pissed me off as a father of girls is when people say things like ‘oh these girls need to dress so they don’t distract the boys’ or even worse ‘they’re dressing in a way in which they’re asking for it,’” he begins.
“Let’s get something clear: It’s not my daughter’s job to make sure your son is focused in school. Also not her job to dress hideous enough to where your son doesn’t assault her. It’s your job to not raise a pervert with no self-control.”
While his first emotion was definitely “anger,” he also kept his sense of humor about the whole thing.
“Let’s be clear — those are not the ones that I’d choose for my daughters to leave the house. If it were up to me, it would be 24/7 Snuggies,” he joked.
“But if I start dictating what my daughters wear, I’m going to teach them three things,” he continued. “A: they’ll start to hate me for arbitrary rules; B: they’ll start to lie to me; or C, maybe even worse: that it’s OK for a man to tell them what to wear because they look too good. And that ain’t happening, Karen.”
And he left his audience with one final zinger.
“But you know what would really disappoint me? If my girls grow up to be the kind of adult who goes on social media and demeans a teen’s appearance on her father’s Facebook page. That’s what I call trashy.”
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The comments were overwhelmingly positive — all along the lines of “SLAYED!” and “go on king!”
Austin also added a follow-up video, thanking the commenters who had his back and giving a little update on the situation.
“So my last post was a little ragey,” he begins, a little sheepishly. He said that after his “nostrils went down to normal size,” he was worried that he had embarrassed his daughters all over again. But that there were so many positive comments on the post that he knew he had done something good.
“When I looked in the comments section, I found thousands of you, telling my daughters how beautiful they are,” he said. “I try to tell them every day, but I think it hits different when they read the comments.”
“Thousands more said that I’m a good dad,” he continued. “We might not know each other, but that’s pretty much the best compliment you could ever give me. So thank you for doing something I didn’t think the internet could ever do, which is make me feel better.”