Utah teen Keziah Daum took a lot of heat for wearing a Chinese-inspired cheongsam, or qipao, to her prom.
But it was the other uproar over a pose in the prom pictures that forced Melissa Dawes, Daum’s mother, to provide an explanation.
In one of the photos Daum posted to Twitter on April 22, she and the rest of the girls in her prom group appear crouched with praying hands. The pose made some uneasy, even those who defended her wearing of the dress.
Dawes, in an interview with All the Moms, said the friends’ poses come from a meme created and popularized by YouTuber Ethan Klein of the channel H3H3 Productions.
In November 2014, Klein uploaded a video making fun of a new Papa John’s advertisement. The video grew in popularity among his viewers, and he would return to the jokes in many more videos to come.
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 22, 2018
Over time, the phrase “Papa Bless” became embraced by Klein’s fanbase as a reference to and praise of his various comedic videos. The clasped hands soon became a visual symbol for the “Papa Bless” phrase.
The guys’ poses are in reference to another Klein video in which he pokes fun at people who use vaporizers.
In the video, Klein poses as a “vaper” in New York City, walking around the town and into a vape shop. Klein throws up the “V-N” gesture, standing for “Vape Nation,” several times throughout the video.
Daum has repeatedly defended her dress, even making television appearances to make her point.
“I would wear it again,” she told ABC News.