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Cultural Appreciation vs. Appropriation

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Twitter / Keziah Daum

Twitter / Keziah Daum

Twitter / Keziah Daum

Jeff Grundy, Staff Writer

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   On the very few times I scroll through Twitter, I am dumbfounded at what people get mad at. It is all empty anger that creates no action or change. When I scrolled into the recent “civil war of Twitter,” I had no idea what to expect. What I found was possibly the most toxic and hateful attack against a high school girl at prom. What? That is who we are mad at? A teenager in a dress?

  This “controversy” began when a white girl decided to wear a Qipao, a traditional Chinese dress to her prom. She did not imitate, humiliate, or attack at all. With no malicious intent in her heart she wanted to look good and in her eyes this dress was perfect. After she posted pictures of her dressed in the dress, Twitter immediately attacked with a certain troll commenting “My culture is NOT your [expletive] prom dress.”

  But fellow Chinese, it’s not your culture. A culture isn’t a locked safe. OUR customs, OUR people, and OUR culture is OURS to share. By segregating ourselves from others, what kind of message are we sending? Historically from as far back as 1882 and the Chinese Exclusion Act, we have been an unwanted piece of American history but within the last 70+ years we have grown and been accepted into society. We have no place as people or a culture to exclude people of any race or creed from appreciating our culture. As a Chinese person, I would take pride in knowing someone without any ties to my country would appreciate the beauty of its  art and traditions. An argument of cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation is valid; she is wearing a dress that isn’t usually worn by white women, but to call this bold fashion choice cultural appreciation is on par with attacking me because I listen to rap.

  At the end of the day, anyone who attacked this girl is blind to the acceptance, the family, and the love that is Chinese culture and can catch me prom 2019 wearing her same dress.

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Cultural Appreciation vs. Appropriation