Response to Anon

Some time ago I received two anonymous messages:

  1. I feel like this page is paying homage to Vietnamese women so it doesn’t really sit well that you’re posting pictures of white women wearing Ao Dais. White women are represented well enough everywhere. Ao dais are for Vietnamese women.
  2. Anonymous said to allaodai:What are with these pictures of American women wearing Ao Dai’s? Are they in a pageant or something? I feel like if someone is going to be modeling Ao Dais, it should be Vietnamese women and Vietnamese women only.

Dear Anon (or anons), I have failed to answer you question and comments. 

While my interest in ao dai stems from me being Vietnamese, that doesn’t mean that other people who aren’t Vietnamese shouldn’t be interested in ao dai either. People can respect culture and fashion everywhere around the world. While the debate will linger about whether non-Vietnamese wearing ao dai is a sign of culture appropriation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case. Now, if a person who doesn’t identify as Vietnamese wears an ao dai, and wears one because she deems it to be a token, to blend in with “the natives” or because it’s just some souvenir, then perhaps it may be cultural appropriation. I disagree with you Anon(s). Unless a piece of clothing holds spiritual symbolism, a person, if having knowledge and respect of that particular culture, shouldn’t be shamed in wearing a piece of that garment that may be symbolic of that culture. 

There was an earlier discussion on cultural appropriation, where readers can read here. Here is another point a tumblr user made

I myself am certainly not very traditional or conservative in my views. 

I leave this discussion open to my followers. What say you?

Dear faithful followers [and all those who stumble across this post]

My goal in creating this blog was to include all things ao dai since there are certainly fashion blogs dedicated to other cultural clothing. While I’ve been searching for images related to ao dai, I’ve also been reposting stories related to the ao dai from other tumblr users.

My question that I pose to you is this: 

Is there anything more that you’d like to see? What changes would like to see made?