What's So Special About That Red Dress?
Start writing a post

What's So Special About That Red Dress?

Imitation is the best form of flattery… Or is it?

What's So Special About That Red Dress?
Keziah Daum on Twitter

America was founded on July 4, 1776. Since then, European culture has collided with Native American, Asian, Polynesian, Africa, and Latin American cultures. Naturally, we, Americans have assimilated numerous cultures into one. We are a nation built from immigrants. What even makes America truly American? Is it the Italian pizza from the downtown hole-in-the-wall restaurant, or maybe the German frankfurter hotdog you enjoy at a baseball game? Where does the boundary between admiration of another culture and cultural appropriation begin?

According to EverydayFeminism, cultural appropriation is not exactly a shared exchange of values, but rather a “particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.”

Two weeks ago, Utah senior, Keziah Daum (@daumkeziah), wore a gorgeous red cheongsam to prom. During an interview with The Washington Post, Daum explained that “it was absolutely beautiful” and provided her with “a sense of appreciation and admiration for other cultures and their beauty.” Notably, Daum is not Chinese. Twitter users from around the world revolted in response to Daum’s prom pictures… but why?

Those who disapprove the prom dress maintain the look embodies cultural appropriation. By dressing in Chinese apparel, Daum attempts to flaunt the appealing aspects of Chinese culture without regard to the struggle and pain associated with developing a culture.

Jeremy Lam (@jere_bare) had much to say in regard to Daum’s prom dress. In a thread, he tweeted, “I’m proud of my culture, including the extreme barriers marginalized people within that culture have had to overcome those obstacles. For it to simply be subject to American consumerism and cater to a white audience, is parallel to colonial ideology.”

On the contrary, many defend Daum’s stylistic choice, arguing that she looked lovely in a dress that advocates for cultural diversity and social coexistence.

Ying Li (@msyinseattle) defended Daum’s tweeted prom pictures: “I am a Chinese woman. I support you. You rocked that dress!!”

Likewise, Simplilulu (@Luluxg) tweeted, “As someone born and raised in China I’m not offended at all, I’m actually really happy that someone not from my country finds my culture beautiful and even willing to wear our traditional clothing. It’s so funny how most people criticizing you are not even Chinese.”

Daum responds to the online backlash by tweeting: “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.”

This debate over cultural appropriation is not new to popular culture. In recent years, Katy Perry’s geishas, Meghan Trainor’s blaccent, and Native American accessories at music festivals such as Coachella have sparked arguments just like Daum’s prom dress.

What is the difference between Daum flaunting her body in the controversial form-fitting Chinese dress and you attending a Mexican sorority party with tacos, cheese dip, and sombreros?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

#OptOutside This Black Friday

I am opting to go outside this Black Friday, and I hope you do so as well.

Ross Woodhall

The day after Thanksgiving has always been regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas season. While not a federal holiday, many people take off work, spend time at home with their families, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. This Friday off turned into a prime opportunity to begin the never-ending chore of Christmas shopping. Soon it became one of the busiest shopping days a year, which companies capitalized on by bringing the best deals of the year to this day we know as Black Friday.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

Cereal never seemed more appealing than at 10 pm.

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

There is almost nothing more annoying in the world than waking up to the sound of an alarm. From the moment you get up until the time you get to bed, you are bombarded with responsibilities. You have to go to work and school, run errands, and do favors. But if you're a night owl then you have an advantage of getting a few more extra hours in the day. Here are seven perks to being a night owl:

Keep Reading... Show less

17 tasty foods to cook in an air fryer

Air fryers are becoming a staple in all health conscious households because of its delicious, yet grease free way of cooking your favorite dishes! We all love a good fried chicken dish, but this is a great alternative if you are eating mindfully.

There are plenty of places that sell air fryers such as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon.

Air Fryed Avocado Fries
Photo by: Tatum Oblonsky

Keep Reading... Show less
Wallpapers Pro

The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Avoid Cooking Up A Catastrophe

Treat food wrong and it's game over, here are some tips on how to evade the mistakes.


Cooking can be quite a challenge if you don't know what you're doing. It's all about technique. Treat food wrong and it's game over. Here are some tips on how to evade cooking mistakes:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments