Teen accused of cultural appropriation defends prom dress - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Teen accused of cultural appropriation defends prom dress

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(CNN) -

A Utah teen says she will not take down her prom photos after receiving backlash on social media. 

A single social media post with a one-word caption and four photos changed everything for Utah senior Keziah Daum, who was accused of racism and cultural appropriation for wearing a red cheongsam - also known as a qipao - that she found in a vintage store.

One twitter user retweeted Daum's post saying, "my culture is not you prom dress," racking in nearly 180,000 likes, followed by countless attacks. Daum had many people telling her to delete her post because it's just going to get "worse and worse".

Soon after, support started pouring in for Daum around the world. She had received a lot of positive feedback from China and the South Morning China Post, talking about how her ensemble isn't cultural appropriation, but cultural appreciation. 

In an interview with a Chinese news paper they said they were, "honored and proud that an American girl would be willing to wear something from their culture that they believe is beautiful." 

However, Daum understands that some are offended. 

"I didn't mean any harm or racist intent," she said. "it empowers me and helps me know I am strong and that I can do things as a woman, and I would wear it again." 

Empowerment is exactly what this dress symbolizes in the Chinese culture. 

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