High School Senior Fighting Back After She’s Accused of Cultural Appropriation Over Prom Dress

Her mother says she is the victim of cyberbullying.

A high school senior has been slammed over a Chinese-style dress she wore to prom that has led to accusations of cultural appropriation. 

Utah teen Keziah Daum, 18, of Woods Cross High School in Utah, received backlash after posting photos from her prom, where she posed in a traditional Chinese dress. 

“My culture is not your f***ing prom dress,” read one furious tweet.

Another said: “It’s not something to play dress up with.” 

Daum defended her choice of attire to Inside Edition, saying she wore it to show “respect for all cultures.”

“I chose it because I really loved how gorgeous it was and how unique and the modesty and the neckline and I wanted to wear something that would kind of stand out, wouldn’t be the same type of dress that every girl wears to prom. I wanted to be a little different and extra special,” she said. 

Her mom, Melissa Dawes, says her daughter is the victim of cyberbullying.

“There were people who were calling her horrible names, making attacks on her… some mean threats and that’s been hard,” she said. “As a mother I was part of the decision to pick it, so I was grateful that she picked something that wasn’t really revealing, that was flattering and then also something that was unique. She talks about that uniqueness a lot, so just a beautiful symbol of the role women have gone through in China. She found beauty in that so I was happy with it.”

Daum insists her choice of the dress, which she bought in a vintage store, was perfectly innocent.

“I never wore this dress with the intention of cultural appropriation or racism; I wore it to show my cultural appreciation for the Chinese culture,” she said. 

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