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Chinese Commenters Push Back Against Claims That Chinese Prom Dress Is 'Cultural Appropriation'

Something extraordinary is happening on Twitter (and no, it’s not the Kanye thing). Last Saturday, a random 18-year-old named Keziah tweeted out a picture of herself wearing a Chinese dress with the caption “PROM.” A random man named Jeremy Lam retweeted her photo with the caption “My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress.” Lam’s tweet went viral and has made Keziah the recipient of thousands of hateful messages accusing her of “cultural appropriation” of Chinese culture. But that’s not what’s so amazing.

“Was the theme of the prom racism?” wrote Twitter user @holdyourbutts. “What Chinese event were you invited to that you feel so entitled to wear a Chinese dress? Culture appropriation at its finest,” wrote @that_boy_mohami. “There’s a long history behind the dress,” wrote @bunchukuu, “and white people are not a part of it.”

We’ve come to expect that kind of thing from the Twitterverse. The hatred and oppression of the left is nothing new. But here’s what happened next:

Mixed in with the bullying and the negativity were countless comments from Chinese people coming to Keziah’s defense — and pushing back against the idea of “cultural appropriation.” People from different cultures appreciating one another, these commenters were saying, is a good and necessary thing.

Popular video game designer Mark Kern tweeted, “I am Chinese, thank you for wearing this. Please enjoy.” Chinese Twitter user @thekawaiicrew tweeted, “What good is our culture if we can't share it with others?” @will_morris117 wrote, “You should probably learn about your own culture then. Because no one from China would have a problem with her wearing a cheongsam to a formal event.”

Keziah — showing amazing strength for an 18-year-old suddenly subjected to the bullying of thousands — fought back, echoing the sentiments of the Chinese commenters. “To everyone causing so much negativity,” she wrote on Twitter, “I mean no disrespect to the Chinese culture. I’m simply showing my appreciation to their culture. I’m not deleting my post because I’ve done nothing but show my love for the culture. It’s a f***ing dress. And it’s beautiful.”