One must always seek parental permission before giving a child something extraordinary or uncommon.

A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for giving skincare to my thirteen-year-old niece?”. Read on to know what exactly happened!


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The Original Poster (OP) is a 27-year-old woman with a niece who is now 13 years old (OP’s sister is much older than OP). 


birthday girl
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For her birthday, OP went to the Korean skincare store and got her a little care package with fun bubbling or animal face masks, night cream, mist, a little serum in a cool-looking bottle, a cleanser, and sunscreen. 


Two young women arguing
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OP’s sister got mad and said OP was pressuring her to conform to beauty standards. 

“She said that the animal masks and cute bottles are fun, but the inclusion of night cream and sunscreen could make her daughter already feel pressure not to age at thirteen.”, says OP. 


Angry woman abusing of another scared one isolated on a white background
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She (OP) sees it as a fun way of ensuring good skin habits at an early age, considering most start their routines way too young, and OP sees it as a cute girly gift that her niece might enjoy. 

“But my sister says thirteen is too young, and she shouldn’t worry about aging. Am I a jerk?” asks OP. 


sisters fighting badly
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OP later added the following information:

“Many people ask if my niece has expressed interest: she has always been a girly girl. She likes pink and cute shoes; when she was little, she played with barbies and ponies. She dressed up like a princess every year. So it’s not a stretch to think she would like stuff like this. That was my reasoning.”


Beautiful brunette young woman wearing glasses and casual clothes sitting on the table clueless and confused expression with arms and hands raised. doubt concept.
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“No jerks here. It’s a sweet gesture, but if your niece did not express any interest in this stuff, it could seem like you are pressuring her to conform to beauty standards or making a comment on her appearance. Teenagers are vulnerable and insecure, especially girls.

The beauty industry is a billion-dollar industry relying on exploiting people’s insecurities. I can see why your sister wants to protect her daughter from that as long as possible and let her enjoy being a kid.

Yes, sunscreen is essential, but lots of skincare is unnecessary and expensive, and elaborate skincare routines are a marketing tactic.” 


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“You’re the jerk. It’s a weird birthday gift for a 13-year-old. Would you have given the same thing if your niece was a boy, or would you have given him something fun? The only thing she needs from this is sunscreen, which is still a weird birthday gift.” 


portrait of a young brunette woman , wearing a pink sweater , with an irritated expression, hands in the air, isolated on white background. Negative human emotions
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“No jerks here. Your sister is right. Even though she overreacted, you should have checked what you were getting with her first. 

Beauty products are a toxic minefield (maybe even more so in Korean culture?), and it’s sensible for your sister not to want her kid getting into that at thirteen.” 


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“Not the jerk. You could’ve consulted your sister about the night cream/serum, but face masks are mostly harmless, and everyone should wear sunscreen daily regardless of whether they care about beauty. She can give it to her kid and leave the night cream out. The rest of the stuff sounds like it’d be fun for teens, and she probably (hopefully) won’t get carried away with it.” 


Photo of young girl angry mad aggressive displeased look empty space isolated over yellow color background.
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“Sunscreen is very sensible. The rest sounds like a scam, but not particularly toxic. No jerks here.”


Emotional woman gestures with her hands discontent gray background. High quality photo
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“Not the jerk. What’s important is the intent behind the gift. As long as your niece likes the present and doesn’t feel pressured, as your sister said, it’s alright.

On a side note, is your niece being bullied for her looks? I don’t know why your sister will react like she did unless something is up that you might not know about.” 


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“Not the jerk. Skincare is a regular thing that everyone should do, regardless of their age. It is not about aging, and it’s about protecting from things like cancer and ensuring you keep healthy cleaning habits.”

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