Cultural appropriation in music has been going on for decades, and even in the age of callout culture, there are still those who miss the mark. Luckily, however, there are those who don't let the mishaps happen without speaking out; beauty YouTuber Michelle Phan is one of them. After Kacey Musgraves posted a provocative photo wearing traditional Asian garb, Phan took to her Instagram to bring awareness to the fetishization of Asian women.
See what she said ahead.
So yesterday, when she took to her Instagram with a message for those appropriating Asian women, her followers were all ears.
"Imagine seeing your national traditional dress being disrespected onstage," she began. "Since she's a public figure, she might influence more people to think it's trendy." She continued in another post, still not mentioning any specific names. "But for real, I'm sure there was no intention of causing harm, but people are just tired of narratives that perpetuates the fetishism of Asian women."
But after some digging, fans found out exactly who she was referring to.
"Basically, some of Michelle's Vietnamese followers sent her photos of Kacey Musgraves wearing an ao dai without pants on. This is a traditional outfit, and Michelle posted, 'I understand the desire to look sexy. I get it. But you can be creative without appropriating cultural traditions,'" one Redditor wrote.
It brought about more concerns about the use of Asian culture in music.
"Same with the 'Chun Li' music video and performances by [Nicky] Minaj. She was leaning on every negative stereotype of Asian women. I was disgusted (I’m South Korean). Even the original character Chun Li in the video games was designed by a man. The character was meant to appeal to MEN, and not uplift women," another Redditor noted.