On Tuesday, police in Saudi Arabia arrested a woman who was filmed in a Snapchat video wearing a skirt and crop top while walking in a conservative province about a 100 miles outside the capital.
The New York Times reports that the woman was only identified online as “Khulood,” and the viral nature of her image is what spurred the police investigation. Some were angered by her appearance in the deserted heritage village of Ushaqir in non-“modest” clothing with her head uncovered, according to the Guardian. Her outfit violates Saudi Arabia’s strict dress codes for women, which include covering their faces and heads with a black veil.
The NYT says there was considerable conflict over the hypocrisy of Melania and Ivanka Trump visiting the country in dresses that show their arms and legs, with their heads uncovered, while Khulood faced police action:
One, Fatima al-Issa, wrote as she shared the clip: “If she were a foreigner, they would sing about the beauty of her waist and the enchantment of her eyes. But because she is Saudi they are calling for her arrest.”
A popular tweet shows the woman’s body with Ivanka’s face photoshopped onto it, which reads, “Enough already, the situation has been solved.”
The controversy follows the announcement from crown prince Mohammed bin Salman that Saudi Arabia is planning to expand the country’s economy beyond oil, for instance, into tourism. Salman has also pushed for less restrictive rules on entertainment, but the laws about women’s dress codes and guardianship laws have not budged. Many are wondering how the crown prince’s vision for the future can be pursued if female tourists can’t even wear shorts.
The Washington Post reports that it is unclear what state Khulood is in, or if she was held for more than questioning.