Cultural Appropriation Vs. Cultural Appreciation: What’s the Difference? by Cassandra Lee Jones
There has been buzz about this topic in the news since the dawning of time, but it has only recently become popular with race relations at a boiling point in our country. An example that has popped up recently was a young girl who decided to wear a traditional Chinese dress to her prom.
The girl uploaded seemingly harmless pictures of her and her friends only to be berated online by a male who retweeted her pictures and stated, “My culture is not your … prom dress.” Thousands of people began to criticize this young girl for being racist and appropriating their culture, even though she was merely wearing a dress that she thought was beautiful and appreciated for its high, modest neckline.
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 22, 2018
Despite the outrage, many people came to support her and her decision to wear the dress including several men and women of Chinese descent. One saying, “You look beautiful in it, and don't let them tell you that you have to be Asian to appreciate the dress.” This young girl had honest intent and meant no harm when choosing what to wear to her prom – that doesn’t mean that is always the case. If someone is mocking another’s culture then shame on them, but if it is your intent to understand, appreciate and and inform yourself of another’s culture by walking in their shoes, then good for you.
To everyone who says I’m ignorant, I fully understand everyone’s concerns and views on my dress. I mean no harm. I am in no way being discriminative or racist. I’m tired of all the backlash and hate when my only intent was to show my love.
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 28, 2018
We can only hope to become more unified as a species if we stop drawing arbitrary lines in the sand for what we can say, think and wear. Let us love and appreciate everyone, of all races, genders, sexualities and socioeconomic statuses.
Photo: Keziah Twitter
Read more about this story via The Washington Post.
I am a Chinese woman. I support you. You rocked that dress!! I have an 18 year old daughter who just had her prom. She said people might be just jealous that you look awesome in that dress. 😁— YING LI (@msyinseattle) May 1, 2018