Country singer Kacey Musgraves recently styled a traditional Vietnamese dress in a way, which was considered inappropriate by many on social media. She has been called out for her styling and faced a lot of flak.
Musgraves wore an Ao Dai for a performance last week. Ao dai is a form-fitting Vietnamese tunic with long slits up on both sides of the hips. It is conventionally worn with long flowing pants.
But the singer chose to leave out the pants entirely, and posted several photos to Instagram showing her exposed hips and legs. Soon, she started receiving a lot of criticism on social media over cultural appropriation. She was accused of disrespecting a culturally and historically significant piece of clothing.
From Instagram, the incident spread on to other social media platforms as well.
One tweet, which received 6000 likes, read “My culture is not meant to be (sexualized)”. "This is offensive on so many levels and I'm livid,” read another.
I usually don’t tweet but how many times does it have to be said...— Nhung (@zoongz) October 12, 2019
My CULTURE is not meant to be sexualize. This is offensive on so many levels and I’m livid pic.twitter.com/TXOE6S8Lmd
In fact beyond her garment, Musgraves was also called out for the golden headpiece, which she wore to accessorise. One twitter user accused the singer of throwing together "random" items to "look exotic."
also what is that headpiece? she is really just putting random shit together to look exotic— claire trần (@clairevtran) October 12, 2019
Prominent Vietnamese Americans have also spoken out regarding the matter. "Please don't further degrade this key part of Vietnamese culture and put on some pants like everyone else that wears áo dài," tweeted poet Mai Nguyen Do. "When people do things like this, all it does is contribute to the dangerous notion of Southeast Asian femininity as inherently sexual out of subservience. (sic)"
Vietnamese actor and singer Ngo Thanh Van, also known as Veronica Ngo, wrote on Facebook that "it is wrong for the singer to wear a traditional costume of another country without understanding it."