PHNOM PENH — The creator of a video offering a rare look at Khmer fashion through the ages said she wants to call attention to the underappreciated beauty of her nation’s history.
In “The Evolution of Khmer Men’s Fashion,” Dou Pothmolita shows several thousand years of Khmer fashion in about four minutes of time-lapse video. The video of the single male model’s transformation, chiseled abs and all, from prehistory through the present day has struck a chord in Thailand and had been shared nearly 40,000 times by Thursday morning.
“This video is based on how much I’m amazed by and love my own history. I have learned how far Cambodia has come, and how beautiful it was in the old times,” Pothmolita, the 25-year-old makeup artist in Phnom Penh wrote in reply to inquiries.
“I hesitated when it came to the Khmer Rouge part because it’s something always painful to show to my fans and audience, but I later decided it’s still a part of our history, and it always should be remembered,” Pothmolita said. “On behalf of my own family and my nation, I still want to show how strong we stand up from that black era.”
The video offers an idea of how Khmer men looked in eras such as the 1st-century Funan empire and during the arrival of beatnik Western influences in the 1950s during the days of Norodom Sihanouk.
While attitudes toward Khmer culture in Thailand can often be condescending, netizens liked what they saw.
“Cambodia’s and Thailand’s clothing is quite similar, actually,” Facebook user Asawin Changngakaew wrote in a comment.
Dou made a similar video in 2016 about women’s fashion. She said she plans to move to Hollywood to study to become a professional makeup artist. She’d like to see neighboring countries create similar videos, too.
“We all have beautiful history and culture so I think this kind of video will always be beneficial to each own’s nations,” she said.