Appropriation...or Appreciation? 🤔

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Prom drama

18-year-old high school student Keziah Daum from Utah has found herself in the crosshairs of social media. It all started after she posted a picture of herself wearing a traditional Chinese dress (a qipao) to prom - causing quite the stir in the Twitter-sphere.
 

Twitter lights up

The event sparked a nationwide debate on social media about cultural appropriation. Naturally, two sides emerged: one side accusing her of cultural appropriation and another side defending her showing an appreciation for Chinese culture. 

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The right say Keziah was merely trying to showcase the beauty of the dress and wanted to show respect to Chinese culture. They argue that the left has taken the whole ‘cultural appropriation’ topic in general way too far. In a heterogenous and melting pot country like the U.S., showing appreciation for and adapting aspects of other cultures shouldn’t be attacked. Instead, it reinforces the U.S.’ strength in being one of the most diverse and multicultural places on earth.

 

The left accuse the student of appropriating Chinese culture for the benefit of her and her white audience. They see this as further evidence of a system where white people are allowed to take whatever they want and get off the hook with a simple excuse. They see it as a manifestation of the white population’s privilege. The left also take issue at the prayer pose she struck in one of the photos, calling it offensive and derogatory.


Hot topic in the media

This isn’t the first time cultural appropriation has been brought up as an intense debate. Major celebrities across pop culture have been accused of it, including Kim Kardashian, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, and Post Malone. Here are 7 examples. Have cultural appropriation claims gone too far or are they justified? 

 

Is Taco Bell cultural appropriation? 

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