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Michelle Obama Doesn't Deserve Your Headscarf Shaming

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Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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The social media furor over Michelle Obama choosing not to wear a head scarf in Saudi Arabia is unwarranted, writes The New Yorker's Amy Davidson. Here's her reasoning: foreign women in Saudia Arabia aren't required to wear a head scarf, and Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton didn't wear a scarf when they visited either. Michelle Obama did wear a head scarf in Indonesia, but only when she visited a mosque.

And yes, Queen Elizabeth covered her hair when she visited in 1979, but it was more of a '70s-esque turban, and she also wore a "a small orange half-hat," so maybe she just likes hats. She also wore her crown for formal events, naturally.

Davidson says that with her long jacket and long pants, Michelle Obama dressed appropriately for the occasion. "Women in Saudi Arabia likely know too well that their rulers' interests lie not in controlling Michelle Obama's hair but in controlling them," she writes. "The princes, to avoid accountability for their own corruption, have accommodated Wahhabi extremists who might indeed be bothered by the idea of any woman, anywhere, appearing with her head uncovered. That is really not Michelle Obama's problem. She doesn't have to dress to please Al Qaeda. If she had worn a head scarf, her American critics would undoubtedly have attacked her for doing just that."
· Michelle Obama Doesn't Owe Anyone A Head Scarf [New Yorker]
· Michelle Obama Managed to Match 14 People, Two Mirrors, Two Chairs, Five Flags, and Some Drapes [Racked]
· Michelle Obama Suited Up Like Alicia Florrick for SOTU [Racked]