An 18-year-old Utah girl was slammed online for wearing a traditional Chinese dress to her senior prom, accused of cultural appropriation because she isn't Chinese. Keziah Daum told the Deseret News she was in a vintage shop looking for a dress that was, in her words, "a little more modest" when she found the red quipao dress with gold and black embroidery. She said, "I loved it a lot because it showed beauty in other ways than revealing your body. I wanted to be a little unique." She also found out later about the history and meaning of the quipao dress, which symbolizes "female empowerment and equality." After the Woods Cross High School senior prom late last month, Daum posted some photos on Twitter. The criticism began with someone named Jeremy Lam sharing the photos with a caption that said: "My culture is NOT your godd*mn prom dress." The post has since been shared nearly 180,000 times and retweeted 42,000 times, with many other people chiming in and the story reported by several news outlets globally. However, Daum didn't back down, telling the Desert News, "I've told myself, 'You know, I've done nothing wrong.' This had a great intent to it, and the meaning behind it is very important. And knowing that what I did was right helps me get through the hate." Eventually, more and more people starting coming to Daum's defense online, including, she says, with many messages from Chinese people. She also pointed to a report yesterday (May 1st) from the South China Morning Post, saying, "They didn't call it 'cultural appropriation.' They were proud to see something that they love being shared outside their borders. It was beautiful to them."
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