Supermodels and social media mavens, their makeup artists and hairstylists in tow posed at a concert in leather pants, chunky sweaters, and trendy black combat boots. What was unusual about these Instagram posts was that they were all deliberately tagged in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The bevy of Instagram stars, former Victoria’s Secret models, including Alessandra Ambrosio, and Hollywood actors like Ryan Phillipe, and others invited to Saudi Arabia over the weekend to promote the kingdom’s most eye-popping in this country, where more than half of its 20 million citizens are under 25 years old.
The efforts are aimed at boosting the economy while polishing Saudi Arabia’s image abroad and appealing to the young. Its a starring from just three years ago, when religious police would Strom restaurants playing music and harass women in malls for showing their face or wearing red nail polish.
Now, the kingdom has movie theaters and concerts. Women are allowed to drive and travel without male permission, and they can sit with men, unsegregated at restaurants. The kingdom began issuing tourist visas this year. Female visitors are not required to where the conservative black- flowing robs known as the abaya and headscarves in public.
At Riyadh airport, a booth welcomes tourists with pamphlets on etiquette in Saudi Arabia, labeled “Our Code of Conduct.”
“But man and women are asked to dress modestly in public, avoiding tight-fitting clothing, it explains. “Women should cover their shoulders and knees in public.”
Apparently, not all VIP guests flown to Saudi Arabia on private jets got the memo–some opted for stomach-baring bralettes under open coats.