Lives have been upended by the pandemic, and with no proven vaccination for the virus made publicly available, many civilians continue to practice social distancing.
One common side effect as a result of quarantining is weight gain. An 18-year-old found himself with an unfortunate side effect of his weight gain.
Not knowing what to do, he turned to the Relationship Advice subReddit, where he wrote:
"My stepmom wants me to dress up as Santa for our family Christmas card this year because I got fat."
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"So every year for my family's Christmas card (which we make in November) some always is Santa Clause. Every year for as long I can remember it has been my father."
"My father is a pretty fit guy so in order to look the part he puts padding in the suit in order for Santa to look fat. However this year my stepmother said I have to be Santa this year because I actually look that part."
"What she means is that I have to be Santa because I'm actually fat. Even thought I have been overweight most of life the reason why she called me out on it this time is because due to being home all the time over quarantine I gained a lot of weight."
"I gained around 60 pounds. Because of this I now have a large belly which of course is a what Santa has. I told her that I didn't want to do it since it would be embarrassing because all our family and friends would see it she is still making me do it anyway."
"So, she made me try on the suit ahead of time and the sad thing is that without the padding the suit is just the right size for me. We take the photos in about a week and I really don't want to do it and I don't know what to do."
Redditors insisted for the OP to stand his ground and to not suit up for the task.
"You do know what to do. Say, 'No thank you. Dad can be Santa again.' Don't argue, don't explain, and don't give in."
"Your stepmother does not get to decide to use a family Christmas photo to humiliate you for your weight gain." – StereoOnCookingBacon
"Yup. What is she going to do, wrestle you into the suit? Unless I'm wrong about how you get dressed, YOU actually have to put the suit on, one leg at a time, in order to be Santa in the photos."
"So just... don't put the suit on." – callmeishmael517
"Don't do it. Tell her you don't want to and just don't. You're 18. Just say no." – velvet_wire
"Sometimes you gotta look deep inside yourself past the social conditioning and realize that a lot of times people only have the power thay you give them."
"Unless she is thinking of restraining you and forcibly dressing you, just dont put on the suit. She can say 'time to put on the suit' all she wants and cry and b*tch and throw a fit but she cant MAKE you do it, so dont."
"Stand your ground and if no one else will have respect for you, have it for yourself and know that hundreds of internet strangers are behind you on this." – EstarineZephaloid
"No is a complete sentence, if she can't respect your decision that's no one's fault but hers. She had no right to tell you to that." – ellahood2003
"Um, she's rude. What the f'k? If you don't feel like doing it, at the end of the day you decide what you want to do! Just do what you want and if she doesn't like it, then that's her problem."
"She should go ahead and put on the suit and fake beard or ask your dad to do it again. The heck??? Sorry that you are going through that dude." – nodamegumicantabile
Those who were concerned for his physical health offered encouragement to boost his self-esteem.
"This really broke my heart. [The virus] has been so hard on everyone, and gaining weight during a pandemic is NOT something to be mocked for. Refuse the suit."
"Tell your dad how you're feeling. Get him alone and away from her for the talk. Lay it all out. If neither listen to you, rethink posing for the card. SOMEONE in your extended family is statistically likely to have your back if they hear why you sat it out."
"You can take steps to whittle away the weight, if that's what you feel is best for you. It takes SO MUCH to regain confidence or improve your mental health, and that bitch knows that deep down." – DeerPrudence13
"Get jacked before Christmas." – Poo-ka
"For the record, many Americans have gained about 16-20 pounds during quarantine. You're far, far from alone. (It was straight up ice cream sandwiches for dinner around here.)"
"But take care of your physical health now by doing something healthy about the weight gain--and take care of that self-esteem by refusing to be ordered around into being a costumed character." – Tiny_Rabbit_Rodeo
The overall consensus was the OP's stepmother was being rude and that he should refuse to to be pushed around.