Kacey Musgraves accused of cultural appropriation–and botching it

“I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you.”

Tyra Banks’ iconic speech still remains relevant today as the internet—namely Twitter users–berates the usually beloved country music star Kacey Musgraves for cultural appropriation during a Dallas, Texas concert on Thursday. 

Musgraves posted a number of photos to her Instagram story of her, er, rocking her take on, “Áo Dài,” a traditional Vietnamese garment that has become the symbol of feminine beauty and the pride of Vietnamese people. When worn appropriately, it’s a tight-fitting silk tunic over trousers. 

But the six-time Grammy Award-winning artist skipped the pants—both on her IG story and onstage. Unsurprisingly, she received immediate backlash. 

“If you wanna bring Ao Dai on stage. Fine. But do not sexualize it by not putting the fucking pants on. This is absolutely disrespectful and degrading. Do you even know what you’re wearing?” Twitter user @itsanxoxo wrote.

…Then came the flood of responses regarding her headpiece. What made the addition worse was that it had nothing to do with the already offensive outfit.

“The nature of white ppl to pick and choose (half of ao dai and whatever is on her head??) pieces of Asian culture honestly repulses me,” Twitter user @MelCLiu wrote.

Musgraves, for her part, hasn’t responded publicly to the verbal lashings. But this isn’t the first time she has been accused of cultural appropriation. In 2017, she was similarly hounded for questioning on Twitter whether anyone would “be offended” if she “was ‘Smokahontas’ for Halloween.” (Though no one ever saw photos, we assumed the costume would’ve combined marijuana with some offensive take on Native American outfits.)

Back then, the internet was similarly up in arms. Musgraves opted for a doll costume.

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Alexandra Samuels

Alexandra Samuels

Alexandra Samuels is a political reporter at the Texas Tribune and contributor to the Daily Dot, where she started as an intern covering politics in the summer of 2016. She enjoys Marvel movies, baking, and reading murder-mystery novels.