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The Ao Dai and I: A Personal Essay on Cultural Identity and Steampunk
“You wear this so well! I can’t believe this fits you,” my mother exclaims. “I must’ve been really skinny.” I’m ten years old and I don’t think to wonder whether she meant I was a fat kid (because …

“Steampunk can be more than simple cultural nostalgia about the way things were or a rebellion against the past (which, unless we really are time travelers, is nothing more than an intellectual exercise). Steampunk is ourselves today, holding the past in our hands, and asking, “How did we get here?” It can be as tangible as gears and dirt and cloth. It’s how we present ourselves, even if we come with nothing but the clothes on our backs.”

Ay-leen the Peacemaker of @beyondvictoriana writes about the cultural significance of fashion in steampunk in general, and the ao dai in particular.