A Utah teen went viral this past weekend for claims of cultural appropriation after wearing a traditional Chinese dress.
“PROM,” Keziah Daum wrote on Twitter, with four photos of her and her friends.
Daum wore a red cheongsam, also know as a qipao.
Twitter user Jeremy Lam responded, saying, “My culture is NOT your godda*n prom dress.”
He then posted a thread of tweets explaining his frustration:
“The qipao was originally a loose dress/ garment without shape, made for Chinese women to clean the house and do other domestic chores with.
“It was then altered and embroidered as a beautiful form-fitting outfit to wear publically, which Chinese women were not allowed to do at during the times of extreme patriarchal oppression.
“In a time where Asian women were silenced they were able to create, not only a piece of art but a symbol of activism. This piece of clothing embraced femininity, confidence, and gender equality through its beautiful, eye-catching appearance.
“It even broke the division of financial classes! It could be made with high-quality materials that only the upper class could afford such as special silks and linens, but a dress just a beautiful could have been made with just cotton and low-quality linen.
He then finished up:
Fairly quickly, Daum responded saying she meant no harm and respected Chinese culture and that she didn’t understand why people were reacting the way they were.
Crucial piece of information: If it wasn’t ill-intended, why’d the group pose like that?
Some social-media commenters were not offended by her choice of dress, but found the photo in which the prom-goers clasped their hands together and bent over slightly in what looked to be a prayer position offensive.
Melissa Dawes, mother of Keziah Daum, told All the Moms that the group of friends’ poses come from a meme created and popularized by YouTuber Ethan Klein of the channel H3H3 Productions.
In November 2014, Klein uploaded a video making fun of a new Papa John’s advertisement. The video grew in popularity among his viewers, and he would return to the jokes in many more videos to come.
Over time, the phrase “Papa Bless” became embraced by Klein’s fanbase as a reference to and praise of his various comedic videos. The clasped hands soon became a visual symbol for the “Papa Bless” phrase.
Today, if you search #PapaBless on Twitter or Instagram, you will find dozens — if not more — of H3H3 fans posing in a similar fashion:
What about the guys’ poses?
Welp, you just can’t make this stuff up.
This is in reference to another video by Ethan Klein of H3H3 Productions, in which he essentially makes fun of vape culture and people who vape.
In this video, Klein poses as a “vaper” in New York City, walking around the town and into a vape shop. Klein throws up the “V-N” gesture, standing for “Vape Nation,” several times throughout the video.
“Vape Nation” and “Papa Bless” are some of Ethan Klein’s most popular jokes, and it would appear Keziah and her friends are big fans.
**Check back in with All the Moms tomorrow, May 2, to hear how the teenager’s mom, Melissa Dawes, has dealt with her teen going viral, with both a plethora of supporters and haters.**