A Teenage Girl on the Internet Bought a Dress, Quick, Everyone Bully Her

Anyone who follows my work will have figured out by now that I’m pretty solidly left-wing. I’m a socialist, I think Killmonger was right and I’m listening to Chapo Trap House while I’m writing this article. But sometimes people on the left get upset about the dumbest bullshit, and today is one of those days, because a teenager bought a Chinese dress to wear to prom.

This, of course, led to cries of “cultural appropriation,” which is something that always sets off my bullshit detector. In this case, someone decided it’s disrespectful to wear a cheongsam if you’re not Chinese for some reason. So some background information on the modern cheongsam; it was based on older-style dresses, but it was essentially a high-fashion piece from the 1920’s marketed as fashionable to rich women in Hong Kong. Bian Xiangyang, who wrote a book on the history of the garment, argues that the cheongsam is distinct from traditional Chinese dresses and was essentially was an attempt by the high society of the time to wear clothes that looked more Western.

Which brings me to the outrage, which mainly started with this guy.

After this tweet, Lam went on to give a long and arguably incorrect (at least disputed) history of this style of dress and its importance to Chinese culture. Most people in China would probably argue the cheongsam is nothing more than the Chinese version of the little black cocktail dress, not a cultural artifact that needs to be treated with reverence. Actually, the cheongsam was introduced in China at roughly the same time Coco Chanel introduced the little black dress to the West.

So why the outrage? Well, outrage has become its own reward among the too-online. People like to be bullies, and when someone does something “wrong” that makes it okay to bully them, we just lose our minds and go “Alright, it’s time, let’s ruin this person’s life!” Remember Justine Sacco? It was ugly the way someone with a few hundred Twitter followers making a joke some people didn’t like took such glee in trying to destroy her life.

And it’s not just people on the left-wing who act like this. Most of the same people who on Saturday were going on about how “it’s just a dress, get over yourself” spent Sunday having a heart attack about how terrible Daily Show correspondent Michelle Wolf is for her disrespectful White House Correspondent’s Dinner performance, where she made fun of Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, the mouthpiece for Trump who spends her days insisting on the veracity of lies so unbelievable even Joy Anne Reid wouldn’t tell them. See, you don’t get off easy, either, right-wing people, you’re all exactly the same, you’re just bullies looking for a target your group finds socially acceptable.

Oh, and maybe delete your tweets using the n-word before you attack a high school student for her choice of dress.

Partner highlights
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

What’s sad about this is that the wearing of the dress is fine. That racist picture of her and her friends posing in bullshit hollywood asians should be submissive poses is the problem. That’s practically blackface.

Load more