Teen Ignites Firestorm Of Controversy After Wearing Traditional Chinese Dress To Prom

Keziah Daum, a senior at Woods Cross High School in Woods Cross, Utah, found her prom dress at a local thrift store. She knew it was the dress for her as soon as she saw it but after posting a series of photos to Twitter from prom night, people wondered if Daum had used the best judgement. 

The dress Daum chose was a traditional Chinese cheongsam dress. The modern version of the form fitting, brightly colored, dress originated in Shanghai around the 1920’s. The dress was often made of silk and worn by social elites and upper class women.  First Lady of China, Madame Wellington Koo, often wore the cheongsam, adding to its popularity. 

Over time, the cheongsam, has been adapted with different materials to function as casual wear and work uniforms. In China and Taiwan, female flight attendants and ground support wear a simple version of the cheongsam.

Daum told INSIDER that she liked the way the dress look, saying:

I bought the dress because I thought it was beautiful and admired the beauty of the culture.


However, many people feel the teen is appropriating a culture.  Especially after the saw this photo.

This Twitter user, in a series of tweets tried to explain why it was more than “just a dress.”

Daum responded to the criticism with a series of tweets defending her point of view. 

Some people thought the dress was beautiful but could do without the bowing hands. 

Of course, a quick fix would be to delete the photos, but Daum’s Twitter followers have gone up by thousands, so no chance of that happening anytime soon.