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Fashion

Five celebrities accused of cultural appropriation that prove Chinese prom dress debate is not the first 

A US teen caused debate online after wearing a traditional Chinese dress to her prom, but she is not alone. A long list of celebrities have come under fire in recent times for adopting the traditional garb of a nation or religion 

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 3:24pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 6:24pm

The backlash over a US student wearing a traditional Chinese qipao, or cheongsam, to her prom is not the first time a conversation about cultural appropriation has made the headlines. 

The 18-year-old’s choice of attire caused quite a stir online recently, with the dress traditionally symbolising a silent protest to promote gender equality after the fall of the dynasties and the beginning of the republican period in the early 1900s.

US teen in Chinese dress at prom accused of cultural appropriation

Here are five celebrities who also found themselves in hot water over their choice of dress.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Apr 22, 2018 at 12:06am PDT

1. Beyoncé 

Just last month Beyoncé was called out for cultural appropriation when she channelled ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti at the Coachella music festival in the US. The centrepiece outfit was a headdress and full-body costume inspired by Queen Nefertiti.  

2. Katy Perry  

In 2013, the American singer caused a stir in Japan when she was accused of appropriating the Japanese culture by depicting a geisha at the Video Music Awards performance. Perry was dressed in a kimono and tabi socks, and styled with lacquered hair and traditional geiko make-up.  

3. Selena Gomez  

In 2013, Gomez came under fire for wearing a sparkling bindi, a Hindu religious ornament, while performing Come & Get It at the MTV Movie Awards.  

4. Lady Gaga 

In the wake of the Iraq war, nothing could have been more provocative than Lady Gaga’s decision to wear a neon pink burka in Philip Treacy’s London Fashion week in 2012.  

5. Rihanna 

In 2013, the pop star was asked to leave the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi after using the location as a backdrop for photos during her Diamonds World Tour. The singer was snapped in a tight black jumpsuit and a hijab, a religious head covering worn in public by some Muslim women.