This morning in Indonesia, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama took a tour of Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta. Michelle has been very respectful of the Indonesian culture while on this trip. Yesterday, when in a dress, Michelle chose to also wear loose-fitting trousers, covering her legs. Today, Mrs. Obama continues to honor the Indonesian traditions by wearing a loose-fitting pants suit, and even decided to throw on a head scarf!
While touring the mosque, Michelle Obama wore a yellow, matte jersey Stephen Burrows pant suit (previously seen worn this past July). She paired this suit with a custom head scarf, or hijab. However, Michelle’s head scarf has a little bit of stylish flair to spices up her look. This silk Prova scarf displays an animal print design and features 3 layers of fringing – teal material, gunmetal glass-beads and pale yellow pom-poms. With this ensemble, the first lady also wore stocking feet.
Wow! I can understand the terms of “respecting” a culture, but if she was definitely not required to wear a head scarf. I do recall former First Lady Laura Bush wearing a head scarf at one point during the Bush administration, although it was presented to her as a gift. Michelle’s designer scarf was definitely not a gift, and while I do agree with her respect for the Indonesian culture, the hijab takes this just a little too far.
When students at Texas A&M University were asked what they thought about this head scarf, there were mixed emotions. Amber McAlister, a sophomore student, said that her fashion choices should be of no importance to Americans, but rather, we should only focus on her political views. Brett Parsons, a senior at A&M, disagreed by stating, “Her outfits represent America when she is overseas, and I don’t think she should have worn that. She can respect their customs, but she doesn’t have to join in.” Another senior, Lauren Stinson, also believed Mrs. Obama was in the wrong by wearing this head scarf.
Do you agree with Michelle Obama dressing in Indonesian customs? Yes, she has showed she respects their culture, but his this too much?
Let me know what you think!