By KATE SPIES
Some kids were sent to their room. Others were banned from TV. And the really hard core parents grounded their kids when they did something naughty. This isn’t how it rolled in my household. I was disciplined in a much more public, much more mortifying way…with punishment t-shirts. Yep.
My dad was the master of creative (read: cruel, cruel, cruel) reprimands, and tees sat right at the top of his list. (Along with dunking me fully-clothed into water from the side of a boat, and making me pick every weed from between the bricks in our backyard.)
So it was with great sympathy that I read the terrible plight of Janiya Jones.
Two weeks ago, Janiya’s Jones’ Facebook account showed her as a statuesque, beautiful teenager with a boyfriend. In reality, she is a 10-year-old girl in year five who just happens to be 5’9.
Her dad found out about Janiya 2.0 and, well, his reaction was a step further than giving her the standard ‘there’s no rush to grow up’ chat…he made her a shaming t-shirt.
And Kevin Jones, Janiya’s dad, has helpfully detailed the whole thing on Facebook for the world to see:
Since my beautiful daughter Janiya wants to be grown & lie about her age. Saying she is 14,15,16,&18 years old. She claims to be in love and going out with a boyfriend which is completely against my rules!!!! I uncovered that she has been doing this for quite some time. She also has snuck and obtained social media accounts, also against my rules!!!! Heres the consequences behind her actions. An age defining shirt. Yes people she is 5’9 & 10 years old. #BuddiesBarrettesBallBalls
Harsh? Maybe. Effective? You bet. His attempt at social media embarrassment has paid off, with his original post already at 250,000 likes and almost 80,000 shares.
Does he know my dad? Have they formed some sort of gang where they sit around telling dad jokes and concocting ways to mortify their teenage daughters?!
My dad eased his way into t-shirt shaming when I was seven years old. I had robbed a bank or something – I can’t quite remember – and he decided that instead of sending me to my room, where I just read Harry Potter and had a grand old time, he would mix it up.
He dug out one of his favourite ALP t-shirts (he was a member of the local branch) and decided that I would wear it to school the next day as punishment for my bank robbery (or maybe it was because I refused to unpack the dishwasher, same same). It was mufti-day at school the next day (or maybe you called it ‘casual clothes’ day?) and while everyone else was wearing awesome Bad Girl skirts and tops from The Surf Shop, I rocked my dad’s ultra-oversized tee.
The other kids teased me. My brother disowned me. Teachers smirked. And I was convinced Adam Ley would dump me as his date to next month’s dance. Life over.