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Teen's Traditional Chinese Prom Dress Had People Accusing Her Of Cultural Appropriation

Teen's Traditional Chinese Prom Dress Had People Accusing Her Of Cultural Appropriation
Updated 3 weeks ago

Cultural appropriation is defined by Wikipedia as "a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture."

You've probably heard the term thrown around a lot. Like when these two white woman shut down their burrito cart after they were accused of stealing recipes from a Mexican community and not attributing them to the original chefs.

Usually there's an element of profiting off of a marginalized cultural group you "don't belong to" that grinds people's gears. Like when the Kardashian sisters begin rocking popular Black hairstyles and fashions, or when white pop stars embrace influences from hip hop and R&B culture, then turn country all of a sudden, like Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus have been accused of doing.

People's views on what can be considered cultural appropriation or not differs greatly, or even if cultural appropriation is harmful in the first place. There are lots of opinions about the subject and it usually results in heated arguments, which is exactly what happened when this teen, Twitter user Keziah, showed off her prom look online.

The 18-year-old donned a cheongsam, which is a traditional Chinese dress made of silk with a high collar, to her high school prom.

But some people weren't happy with the fact that the teenager was wearing it.

Twitter user Jeremy Lam had a problem with Keziah wearing the dress and explained why.

It had a lot to do with the cultural significance behind the garment.

And how the dress helped to break down the divide between different financial classes.

Jeremy wasn't the only one who took issue with Keziah's dress, saying that she didn't "appreciate" Chinese culture while wearing it.

While some people just had a problem with the fact that Keziah wore a "$20 Chinatown dress."

There were a lot of people who weren't insulted or offended by Keziah's dress at all, and didn't think there was anything wrong with her wearing it.

And some suggested that the real reason people had a problem with her wearing it is because she's white.

Keziah wrote that she meant no disrespect to Chinese culture and mentioned that she won't be taking down the pictures because she thinks the dress is "beautiful."

What do you think? Was Keziah wrong for wearing the dress to her prom? Or are people overreacting?