RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – First Lady Michelle Obama kicked up a little political and fashion storm when she and her husband showed up in Saudi Arabia.
They were in town to offer their condolences to the Saudi royal family on the death last week of King Abdullah.
But when the first lady got off the plane, she wasn’t wearing a veil or a head covering, as is their tradition.
She still was not wearing anything on her head when she shook hands in a receiving line, although some of the men refused to shake her hand, which is also a custom.
The State Department strongly encourages US women to cover their heads, but diplomatic gatherings usually don’t count.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not covered when she met with the guy who’s now the king,
And First Lady Laura bush also was unveiled when she visited a cancer screening center in 2007, although the female doctors she met were fully covered.
The Twitter-verse lit up in Saudi Arabia and other countries with #Michelle Obama Unveiled. Some didn’t like what she did. Others supported her choice.
The first lady is back home where she’s free to wear just about anything she wants, while back in Saudi Arabia, a woman could be publicly whipped or sent to prison breaking free of the veil.