UTAH — A senior at a high school in Utah is being called a “closet racist” for wearing a Chinese cheongsam dress to prom after she tweeted photos from her big night.
Keziah Daum, 18, posted the photos on April 22 with the caption: “PROM,” FOX 8 reported.
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 22, 2018
Since, it’s been retweeted over 5,900 times and has elicited many angry comments.
This isn’t ok. 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.
— Jeannie (@JeannieBeanie99) April 28, 2018
She is wearing a traditional dress that is reserved for special occasions and by her, a non-Chinese woman, thinking she is entitled to our culture, she is profiting (does not necessarily mean $$) from it. That is cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is racism.
— bot (@thaooocu) April 28, 2018
But many are also coming to Daum’s defense.
Glad you wore the dress! You look fantastic!!! Being Asian I am not ostracized wearing green shamrock on March 17 or looked down upon waving the only flag I know- Old Glory- on July 4. #embraceDiversity (btw, love the shoes too 😊)
— heli (@HeliSkiier) May 1, 2018
Hey~！I'm Chinese and I live in China, I just want to say you look stunning in that dress, and pay no attention to those who say you shouldn't wear it because of some kind of "cultural appropriation", a lot of Chinese wear jeans and I didn't see anyone make a fuss about it~!
— Willmore F (@Reaperxma) May 1, 2018
You do look gorgeous. And yes it is just a dress and a very pretty one too. (My husband is half Chinese by the way, he would think the fuss is nonsense).
— Jane Salisbury (@GothicBlue) May 1, 2018
Daum told Insider she saw the dress in a thrift store several weeks before prom and knew she wanted to wear it.
“I bought the dress because I thought it was beautiful and admired the beauty of the culture,” she told Insider.
She’s refusing to apologize and addresses that in several tweets.
To everyone who says I’m ignorant, I fully understand everyone’s concerns and views on my dress. I mean no harm. I am in no way being discriminative or racist. I’m tired of all the backlash and hate when my only intent was to show my love.
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 28, 2018