"I wouldn't wear traditional Korean, Japanese or any other traditional dress and I'm Asian"

A high school student who wore a qipao dress to her prom is being accused of “cultural appropriation”.

18-year-old high school student Keziah Daum is being accused of “cultural appropriation” after she posted pictures of herself wearing a traditional Chinese dress known as a qipao to her prom.

In her post on Twitter, Daum shared four images of herself dressed in a red silky Chinese qipao. One picture features Daum with a group of formally dressed students posing with their hands together and knees bent.

Many were quick to criticise Daum through Twitter.

“My culture is not your… prom dress,” wrote one Twitter user.

“This isn’t ok,” wrote another. “I wouldn’t wear traditional Korean, Japanese or any other traditional dress and I’m Asian. I wouldn’t wear traditional Irish or Swedish or Greek dress either. There’s a lot of history behind these clothes. Sad.”

“If you ‘appreciate’ and ‘love’ our culture, you’d know it’s a traditional gown,” tweeted another. “Yet you claim ‘it’s just a dress’… What you said shows no appreciation but shows plenty of appropriation.”

In response, Daum tweeted, “To everyone causing so much negativity: I mean no disrespect to the Chinese culture. I’m simply showing my appreciation to their culture. I’m not deleting my post because I’ve done nothing but show my love for the culture. It’s a… dress. And it’s beautiful.”

Some also supported the teenager. “You look gorgeous and the dress is stunning!” wrote one Twitter user. “What a wonderful world we live in where we can share culture and dress in special design and style from across the world representing the culture of Earth and the art of humanity.”

“Teenage girls go through a lot of struggles with acceptance and self-esteem so I’m glad that thousands of people are using their Twitter to support… calling this random girl racist because she committed the grievous sin of wearing Chinese clothing to the prom,” wrote another.

Earlier this month Resonate writer Dee Wu wrote a feature about the history of the qipao. Click here to read it.

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