SALT LAKE CITY — A high school senior is refusing to apologize after wearing a “beautiful” Chinese cheongsam to her prom.
Keziah Daum, 18, posted the photos to Twitter on April 22 and she has received backlash from thousands of people online calling her a “closes racist” and accusing her of cultural appropriation, Fox News reports.
One of the photos shows Daum crouching down and posing with a group of friends with their hands folded together.
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 22, 2018
It has been retweeted nearly 6,000 times and has elicited several angry comments.
My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress. https://t.co/vhkNOPevKD
— Bôh (@jere_bare) April 27, 2018
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.
— Bôh (@jere_bare) April 28, 2018
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 have come to the teenager’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
I am a Chinese woman. I support you. You rocked that dress!! I have an 18 year old daughter who just had her prom. She said people might be just jealous that you look awesome in that dress. 😁
— YING LI (@msyinseattle) May 1, 2018
Good on you for wearing that dress. You look beautiful in it, and don't let them tell you that you have to be Asian to appreciate the dress. There are just too many trolls out there. Happy Grad 2018!
— Favian Yee (@FavianYee) May 1, 2018
Daum told Insider that she saw the dress in a thrift store several weeks before prom and wanted to wear it.
“I bought the dress because I thought it was beautiful and admired the beauty of the culture,” she said.
She’s refusing to apologize and says so 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
I love and appreciate diversity and other cultures. I mean no hate. I love everyone ❤️
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 29, 2018