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Mixed-Race Woman Called Out For Refusing To Participate In Friend’s ‘Multicultural’ Wedding

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We are in a state of cultural relearning.

Everyone seems to want to do better.

But a lot of people may still need to do some deeper work.

Case in point…

Redditor no_qipao wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for not participating in my friend’s multicultural wedding?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“One of my BF’s best friends is getting married and asked him to serve as a groomsman.”

“I know the couple, but not super well.”

“The bride is artsy & a photographer and has specific ideas about the aesthetics she wants for her wedding.”

“Especially how she wants it photographed/documented and a big thing for her is highlighting the diversity.”

“She’s Spanish/Argentinian and the groom is Filipino, so they’re both wearing traditional wedding clothes from their cultures.”

“She reached out to everyone who has an immigrant background and asked us to dress in the traditional clothes of our cultures.”

“So I’m half-German, half-Korean, born and raised in the U.S.”

“I have both a dirndl and a han-bok.”

“I told her I’d be happy to wear my han-bok as I think (personally) that the dirndl looks kinda hokey.”

“I sent her a photo of my han-bok and she said it was great.”

“So fast forward a month and she emails me saying that a lot of her friends are going to be wearing Korean clothes and she asked if I would wear my dirndl instead.”

“I agreed, though I warned her that it was a lot more rustic-looking than what she might have in mind for her classy wedding.”

“Big surprise, she agreed, then asked if I could wear an alternative Asian outfit like a qipao-style dress instead.”

“I barely know anyone on the guest list.”

“But when she said a lot of people would be wearing Korean clothes I got curious and asked her who else was wearing a han-bok.”

“She said that she and some friends from college went to Korea to teach English for a semester and that those friends will be wearing them.”

“My BF who is starting to get annoyed too asks the groom, who confirms that the guests wearing the Korean clothes are white.”

“I don’t think white people wearing other culture’s clothes is an inherently bad or racist, but I feel annoyed.”

“Wasn’t the point supposed to be to highlight the diversity in their friend circle?”

“And why is she asking people to wear clothes that aren’t even connected to their culture?”

“I don’t want to be difficult but I also don’t feel right wearing a qipao.”

“I’m not Chinese, let alone Manchu, so when she emailed me again about choosing a dress, I told her that anything but me in a hanbok would be misappropriation.”

“And that I’d be happier just wearing ‘regular’ western style clothes if that was okay with her.”

“That’s when she lost it.”

“She wrote a long raving email.”

“A few highlights: I’m only ‘HALF’ so how dare I speak for Korea or Koreans.”

“I LOOK more German anyway.”

“How I DARE I accuse her of racism/misappropriation.”

“A qipao is regularly worn by everyone/anyone, so me thinking it’s offensive is outdated and dumb.”

“It’s HER wedding and that I and my boyfriend should stick to her ‘rules’ or he would not be allowed to be a groomsman anymore.”

“In light of this, I just don’t feel comfortable wearing anything but ‘regular’ wedding clothes.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. If you are being told you can’t wear something from your own culture, I’d just not go.”

“Especially since she’s giving preference to people who just visited.”  ~ MissNannie91

“For real. I’ve lived nearly half of my adult life in Germany but have little to no German ancestors.”

“I own a couple of dirndls, but the only place I’d be wearing them to is an Oktoberfest.”

“Not my heritage, not my outfit.”  ~ Mama_cheese

“So when she said ‘diversity’ she meant diversity of outfits??”

“White people wearing Korean outfits while Korean people are assigned to ‘other Asian outfits’ (presumably under the the theory that no one will notice, since all Asians look the same to her?) is peak influencer bulls**t.”  ~ PantsuitNation2020

OP came back to discuss a few things…

“I don’t think this would bother me normally, because I know them wearing han-bok isn’t intended to be disrespectful.”

“Even though it does feel slightly like she’s hijacking my background a little, but I see that it’s not supposed to be malicious.”

“But the fact that she’s sort of figuratively pushing me out of it and trying to force me to wear a traditionally Chinese dress makes it seems like it’s completely interchangeable to her.”

“She wants people to ‘represent’ different cultures, but I’m 100% not a rep for any Chinese ethnic group.”

“Never lived there, don’t speak the language, don’t have the clothes, haven’t even visited to be honest.”

“I imagine that if I were actually Chinese, I might be offended so I don’t feel right.”

“By contrast, I’ve spent lots of time in both Korea and Germany and speak the languages pretty decently.”

“It just feels wrong that she’s asking me to ‘rep’ something I’m not.”

We continue…

“Find some European ancient costume you like and wear it.”

“If to your friend all Asian cultures are interchangeable then it should be the same with European ones.”

“You have German ancestors, you can wear whatever European costume you want.”

“Have fun. Or just wear your Korean outfit. NTA.”  ~ Renbarre

“She’s the definition of fake wokeness.”

“She obviously views these clothes as nothing more than costumes and not part of a culture with long history.”

“Unfortunately something that’s very common for a lot of westerners regardless of race.”

“She’s not interested in an inclusive wedding.”

“She’s interested in a colorful costume party to repost on instagram.” ~ noblestromana

“NTA – She is absolutely appropriating cultures, and all for an aesthetic.”

“Without a doubt, I would go in non-cultural clothes.”

“Think how uncomfortable someone without a strongly defined heritage will feel at that wedding.”  ~ notjustbrad

“NTA — Did she really tell the one person who actually has a direct root in Korean culture not to wear a hanbok while a bunch of white folks do??”

I’d have opted out of that bs, too.”

“It’s plain as day that she has no interest in genuinely representing your heritage.”

“She wants to appropriate it for an aesthetic and isn’t thinking past that.”

“Someone needs to shake the ridiculous out her head and remind her that just because it’s her day doesn’t mean she gets to act like a bigot.”  ~ untenable681

“NTA. She wanted you to wear clothing from your culture.”

“But then was like ‘oh actually no, my white friends want to wear your culture, so if you could just be a different Asian culture for my aesthetic convenience that would be great.'”  ~ Extension_Ad_972

“NTA. Everything you said in here is correct and you should just not go if she’s going to be that much of a bridezilla.”

“I kinda wanna say a racist one too) and just let your bf do as he sees best.”

“She’s a hypocrite and contradicting herself.”

“All she cares about is the look and aesthetic and not the actual diversity and celebration of cultures.”

“Otherwise, who cares how many people wear what?”

“It’s not like they’ll all be the exact same Han-boks anyway either.”

“Also her comments about you are inexcusable.”

“I usually agree with ‘their wedding, their rules’ but not this time. Not even close.”  ~ Blonde-Engineer-3

“NTA. You were born and raised in America, so if she wants you to dress your culture choose that one just to spite her.”

“Come in a tank top with an eagle and the flag on it, cut off jorts, a trucker hat, and use a case of Bud Light as a purse. Lean in.”  ~ Ok_Whatever_Buddy

“NTA. You’re exactly right that she’s misappropriating cultures.”

“She’s trying to curate her wedding guests as if they’re on display and that’s not cool.”

“On top of that she’s erasing people’s (your) cultural identity by doing it.”  ~ littlestbookstore


“Its a mess.”

“She’s gonna get so much backlash when she publishes her carefully curated multicultural wedding photos on the internet.”

“And then starts justifying to outraged people that her white friends get to wear Korean traditional clothes because they did a year abroad in Korea.”

“This girl sounds like she’s made being multi ethnic (Spanish & Argentina) and in an interracial relationship her whole personality and then some.”

“The original concept was sweet, if you’d like to wear traditional clothes from your heritage, please feel free to.”

“But the intention hasn’t been to allow guests freedom to celebrate themselves at her wedding but for the perfectly co-ordinated wedding pictures.”

“That’s why she’s phoning guests to ask what they are wearing and to dictate who wears what.”

“If your boyfriend wants to go let him but I would politely decline her wedding invitation, not reply to her email and disengage from the situation and grab the popcorn for when it all goes down. NTA.”  ~ excel_pager_420

Well OP, Reddit is here for you.

Sounds like the bride here needs to do some deep thinking.

Hopefully, you and the BF can still have a good time, if you choose to attend.