Michelle Obama’s body language clearly shows that she is no fan of the Saudis. For one, she refused to wear a head scarf during the visit. This apparently upset Saudi’s and other Muslims throughout the world as was reported in the press. While one could think that she may have made a mistake or breached social protocol because she wasn’t aware of the customs this was clearly not the case. .
In 2010 when she visited Indonesia, she respectfully donned a head scarf for her visit. So she clearly knows the rules and the drill in Muslim countries. But this time she decided that she didn’t want to show respect for the Saudi’s as she went bare headed.While she may consider herself very special on American soil where she gets a lot of attention, on Saudi land hardly anyone shook her hand or even spoke to her. This clearly disturbed her as you can see from her soured look and her angrily grabbing on to her own wrist with a fist-like handf. This clealrly showed that Michelle was angry.
Her angry faced expressions continued throughout the visit as she could not hide her contempt.
She was clearly upset and angry as you can see by the protrusion of her lower jaw and her forcefully bracing herself by pressing her one hand over the other in front of her private area. What this pose says is that she is not only angry but feeling extremely vulnerable in this country where women don’t seem to matter – not even a visiting First Lady from the United States of America.
Her angry and disgusted looks continued throughout the visit as you can see. On the one hand, as a Western woman who can blame Michelle for her feelings where women are not allowed to drive, have no independence and need the permission of a male relative (husband, grandfather, father, uncle, brother, or son) to do anything. There is no such thing as women walking alone on the street at their own free will. Women can only go to women doctors and study in classes where there are only women.Women have little or no value except to marry and have children. If their husband wants to take multiple wives, they have no say. They also cannot initiate a divorce and their husband. However their husband can get rid of them just by uttering that they are divorcing their wife. There is no such thing as alimony and if the husband is Toxic or heartless he can render her homeless and penniless.
But from the view of being First Lady and accompanying her husband on a good will trip to meet and greet and the new King Solomon, many believe Michelle did not act correctly. They believe that she should have donned a head scarf and should not have worn pants but a long dress instead. This visit was not about Michele, It was about trying to make friends with the new leader. Clearly, there was no winning friends or influencing anyone via Michelle’s actions. In fact many took this as a personal insult or slap in the face.
From my view I believe that one must respect the cultures of others when you are on their territory. I myself have even donned a head scarf when I have lectured in certain countries where the head scarf was expected to be worn by women. Even though I was a Westerner I thought it was more respectful if I wore one and it was very well received and much appreciated. It showed that I respected their culture.
Michelle’s body language can be translated by many as reported in the press as to her being defiant and arrogant. There was no question that she was angry and disgusted. There was also no question that her presence and actions were not very diplomatic.