18 year old high school senior Keziah Daum carefully chose her senior prom dress, like so many other seniors before her. In anticipation for her night of fun, Keziah wanted a unique dress all her own. Teen girls look forward to their senior prom all year, and in anticipation for a night to remember, Keziah chose a beautiful silk gown reminiscent of a Chinese Ceheonge-Sam. The gown can be described as a red silk embroidered gown with gold with a dragon motif, trimmed in black with a sexy high split to the thigh. The different style instantly attracted the young senior. In a sea of sweetheart necklines Keziah would definitely stand out n the very different high-necked styling of the prom gown chosen by Keziah. And just where did this dress come from? Keziah explained that she discovered the unique dress at a thrift store, and was instantly drawn to it. She,”bought the dress for its beauty, and she also truly admired the culture.”
Was it really a problem with the prom dress or the photos?
The many photos which were posted of Keziah Daum and her friends attending the Woods Cross High School Senior Prom in Utah soon went viral on twitter. The biggest problem people had, was not necessarily with the dress itself, but with the photos. But, did these photos go viral for the right or for the right reasons? These controversial photos that soon went viral show the young ladies bending at the knee and folding hands together in a “chinese like” pose. Keziah received a lot of backlash from people about her gown choice and/or photos. Some people started to accuse her of appropriating the culture. Was Keziah belittling the Chinese culture as a trend, but without really having a connection to it? Was she really just making fun of a culture she had no real association? A user asked this question, saying “Honey, you look beautiful and so is that Cheongsam, but I am of course curious.. Are you part Chinese?” Some responses were not as kind, like, “Is the theme here racism?” Not all comments were negative in nature however. One commenter to be mentioned wrote, “I am Asian, and I am not offended at all…and I think you look beautiful!”
Keziah Never did feel the need to apologize
Keziah later explained, that she never meant to offend anyone. If anything, she was only confused by the amount of backlash she received. Her stance seems to be that she was not doing anything inappropriate. She only wanted to wear a gown she found beautiful and wished to showcase it in what she believed to be a respectful way. Both in the way she wore her gown and in how it was presented in photos, Keziah sees no problems, or need to apologize.
She doe not feel she showed an error in judgement or actions, but that it was more of an issue with the perceptions that people had in wanting to misconstrue her true intentions. In her own words Keziah explained to her followers that she was “..simply showing my love for a beautiful culture and there is nothing wrong with that. Keep talking shit. I don’t care. I have much respect for the Chinese culture.”