Amber Heard was criticized for what she wore (and didn’t wear) to an Istanbul mosque

Amber Heard is in Istanbul for some reason, either for a vacation or for work. I didn’t think that Americans could travel abroad for pleasure anymore, given the pandemic, but maybe Amber was given some exemptions. Istanbul is renowned for its beautiful architecture, especially with their gorgeous historic mosques. Amber decided to visit one the mosques. All mosques have a standard dress code for women (Muslim women or non-Muslim women). The dress code is pretty simple, just cover up and wear a hijab or head scarf. It’s best to have your arms covered and to wear a blouse or a dress with a higher neck. No miniskirts, obviously, but women can wear trousers. One of the most important things is the head scarf, and it should be covering most (if not all) of a woman’s hair. It’s mostly about showing respect and modesty.

As you can see, Amber wore a head scarf, a satin-y slip dress (which went to her knees) and a beige cardigan. In her IG Stories, you can see her walking around (I think she’s getting a tour) in her socks too. Well, people yelled at her for what she was wearing. They yelled about her scarf, and the hair sticking out, and the fact that the slipdress was a little bit too immodest. People said Amber wasn’t wearing a bra but I’m not so sure? I think it’s more than you can see everything in that slipdress. I also think she’s got too much hair sticking out, and I don’t understand why Western women do this when they’re visiting mosques in other countries – it’s not that difficult to put your hair in a chignon and cover your head. Just be respectful, that’s all.

While I think Amber could have been more respectful, I also don’t get why people were screaming at her from all corners of the globe. She’s shut down her Instagram comments, but of course people can still tweet. And Amber responded:

I wonder if she’s right about people being paid to write negative things about her. I have no doubt that some people hate her for free, but one of the reasons why we, here at this site, haven’t talked about the drama between Amber and her ex-husband over the past year is because we investigated and are convinced there’s an army of paid trolls coming in to argue a certain perspective. Speaking of, there will not be a judgment reached in her ex-husband’s case until late September, apparently.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp arrive for their last day at the Royal Courts of Justice

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, IG.

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53 Responses to “Amber Heard was criticized for what she wore (and didn’t wear) to an Istanbul mosque”

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  1. Ronaldinhio says:

    She looks fine. I have friends who are religiously observant and are pleased people make any effort at all given it isn’t their religion or beliefs.
    People certainly are paying troll farms to comment negatively on her. During the trial at times you could see 10s of comments using the exact same coming seemingly from all over the world

    • Otaku fairy says:

      This. That’s basically what some of my family members have said about it over the years when this comes up. Also, my cousin and I had a conversation the other day about how liberals and conservatives over here both sometimes ‘white savior’ and weaponize this issue with different women, using it as an outlet for misogyny and one-sided feuds. They’ll insist that it’s about fighting racism and being inclusive. But erasing muslim women and woc who are more concerned about potential misogyny from the discussion isn’t exactly woke, and ends up playing into some uncomfortable stereotypes.

    • ElleV says:

      Yeah, this seems like (possibly fake) outrage over nothing. If Amber’s attempt at respectful dress was actually a problem, someone at the site would have addressed the issue before she could enter. Sacred sites that are open to tourists usually take responsibility for policing their own dress codes, as they should, since even within a faith there is often a wide range of dress considered “appropriate.”

    • Likeyoucare says:

      yes, she looks fine and wear appropriate clothes to enter the mosque. However, she had CLEARLY chosen a picture that shows her nipples to post online and that is insulting for the muslim.
      I am muslim and i believe everyone who want to post a picture online will chose the most flattering picture of themselve and she had chosen that picture to stir controversy.

  2. Cee says:

    From my own experience, dress codes are pretty strict for both genders. My brother and brother in law were wearing shorts and they were given long skirts to cover up. I was the only one admitted as was – I was wearing a long summer skirt and used a summer scarf to cover my head, chest and shoulders.
    However, Dubai has stricter rules. My brother in law wore jeans with a very small rip in one of the legs and he was banned from entering a mosque.

    • Jay says:

      For most larger mosques open to tourists, they will offer a scarf to cover up legs, shoulders or arms if you are likely to offend. Especially in Istanbul, this outfit wouldn’t attract notice (mind you, it has been several years since I lived there). I think respectful behaviour matters more than exposed knees.

      Is Amber doing lifestyle blogging now? This reads like sponsored content.

      • Lavande says:

        This is similar to any of her instagram, other than the fact that she’s in turkey. I haven’t noticed any sponsored things but maybe I missed it.
        Her Instagram is mainly things that she’s happy about, I did this and it made me happy, basically.

  3. Sandii says:

    I have been in the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia some 15 years ago. You were not required to wear a headscarf and in the HS you could even wear shoes as it was a museum at this point.

    Headscarves became “a thing” again under Erdogan who is an Islamic dictator. Incidentally at the same time women’s rights are under attack….

    • Miumiiiu says:

      Same here.. I was a teen and had no clue . The Austrian young ladies I was with were much more worldly but didn’t cover their hair either. I was probably wearing a tank top (always with a bra though) and a skirt or capris. Had no issue. I’m dressing modest now and studying Islam. It’s really easy to cover your hair better than she did and wear a bra but to each her own I guess.

    • Alyse says:

      I was there last year… HS is not a mosque so you can wear whatever, the BM you have to cover up (and they hand out coverings if you need)
      Istanbul is very modern, and people can wear whatever they are comfortable in… just cover up if entering a mosque 🙂 easy

      • Sandii says:

        Hagia Sophia was a church than a mosque than a museum and since a few weeks is back to being a mosque. As if the will of the great dictator…. Erdogan.

    • Egla says:

      Been to HS and the Blue Mosque in 2016. In the first one no scarf required. It was more a museum than a worshiping place. People entered with shoes and no covering. At the second one we were given a head scarf at the door. Some Canadian women had their own colorful scarfs and were allowed to use them with no problem. Covering was the main point. We took off our shoes and put them in plastic bags they provided as we had to exit from another door. We took pictures and there were actually a couple of guys working there that helped us taking pictures and explained things. All was very relaxed. I was wearing leggings and you could see my forms and nobody said anything. Same at the Musei Vaticani and San Pietro. People were required to wear somewhat modest clothing; no bare shoulders and short dresses or pants. No head coverings though but you get the idea. These are places of worship but also opened to tourists and they aren’t to harsh on the dress code. After all people are willing to pay to visit and there’s no point of forcing tourists from all around the world to radically change their clothes for 1 h visit.

  4. Erin says:

    what an ugly, hateful thing to actually direct your team to pay for an online presence denigrating your ex. Team Amber forever.

  5. Nancy says:

    I lived in Egypt for 2 years, and Istanbul for 2.5 This is totally fine. If anyone bothered to watch the actual videos, inside the mosque the scarf is tighter around her head/hair.

    • bros says:

      agree, have been to istanbul numerous times and this is totally fine. hair doesnt have to be up in the scarf, she looks casually observant, as most women in Tehran do- this is a very tehran look, aside from the visible nips. for turkey it’s fine as theyre more lax and technically secular.

      also the state department ditched the global travel advisory from no not travel to exercise caution, and turkey is one of the only places in the world taking americans at this time.

      • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

        I have also lived in Istanbul with Muslim family and there are all different levels of what people find appropriate depending on their beliefs. But most people wouldn’t have enough of a problem with this outfit to bar her from entering a mosque, although she might get a side-eye from some.

      • Lavande says:

        Something I learned about Islam and dressing modestly is “do as much as you can”
        So if it seems weird to us Americans that she’s Kind of showing her nipples but Also kind of covering her hair, to Muslims that is at least better than the same outfit and not covering any hair. Correct me if I’m wrong. Different people cover different parts

  6. Eni says:

    Eh, the n*pples showing aren’t great, I would have closed my cardigan if it was a but nippy… But the hair is totally fine for Istanbul mosques, so is the dress. The dress code is exactly the same as for any church in observant catholic country like Italy (i’ve been refused entry once), so I don’t think it’s too difficult to adhere to.
    The trial has been super interesting and from a meta gossip POV, new rules are being set so it’s important to follow, but I get why you guys are not covering it.

  7. Case says:

    I have no idea what counts as respectful attire in a mosque, but her dress does appear kinda see-through. Other than that she looks fine.

    As for the “army of trolls” regarding her divorce — I was fully Team Amber for years, wholeheartedly believed her, completely hated Johnny Depp for it (who I used to love…dropped him like a hot potato immediately), and then…I looked at (and listened to) the evidence from court documents. I feel very differently now about this case, and about Amber and Johnny. I have no doubt there are sexist, misogynistic attacks on Amber from internet trolls, but I also believe there are a lot of level-headed, fact-based people who have also looked at the evidence and believe we jumped to the wrong conclusions when Amber first came forward with her claims.

    • Silver Charm says:

      I was Team Amber until some of the things you mentioned, especially the allegations she stole and reused a friend’s sexual assault story as her own. I think there’s definitely an army of paid trolls and I also think she has some serious issues. Both Johnny and Amber seem like assholes.

    • Jules says:

      I was never fully team anyone, and the court docs have only confirmed this for me.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, not a popular opinion but I agree with everything you wrote. I was totally Team Amber, believed her completely, and thought Depp was a horrible, abusive drunk after having loved him for so many years.

      now, with everything that is known, I’m thinking they were both abusive and they’re both a-holes.

      • Reece says:

        I’m Team Nobody in this situation. I think they both are toxic and have issues and neither should be excused in anyway for what they did.

      • Lou says:

        Yeah, I was fully Team Amber at first, really grossed out by them both now. They both seem absolutely toxic.

        The comment troll thing isn’t something I’d heard but it’s not surprising. Another nasty, petty tactic. Ugh.

        Their poor housekeeper.

    • Robin says:

      We also knew this before though. In their joint statement they said something like “neither party had made false accusations for financial gain”. Everyone took it as “no one is lying to get money out of the other” but ignored the “no one is lying” part of it.

    • A says:

      Yes, THIS!

    • JJ says:

      Not to mention the whole poop in the bed situation. That really gave me a negative impression of her – the person she’s really punishing there is the housekeeper, who doesn’t deserve any of that.

  8. K.T. says:

    I’ve been to Istanbul before, it’s mosques and many other sites are incredibly beautiful but for tourists, I don’t think her outfit is that different than what I saw others wore?!
    Frankly, while it’s important to be respectful of other customs and religions, I get more angry at the policing by patriarchal religions over women’s identity. I’d much rather rage against all the religions that try to control women by shame & devaluation than a celebrity tourist’s whatever.
    Nb to Sandii – yeah, Erdogan’s hardline rise is really worrying.

    • Allergy says:

      It’s extremely worrying, and the fact that these same “strict people” come to the west and wear whatever they want and party really hard is just revolting! I’m against any religious organizations that try to dictate how people, and especially women, should dress! Amber Heard should be able to walk into a mosque naked if she wishes, I have a really hard time believing any kind of god gives a s— how people dress.

      • TrixC says:

        Who are these “strict people” who come to the West and misbehave? Your post is totally stereotyping and Islamophobic. Do you think all Muslims are the same? And, as for walking into a mosque naked, that’s about basic respect for someone else’s beliefs, would you walk into a Christian church naked? Actually most mosques have a dress code for men too, it’s a while since I visited one but from memory it was no shorts and no bare shoulders.

      • Miumiiiu says:

        Trixc my guess is that poster meant like Saudi royalty , etc. Those who have skin in controlling their people so they enforce a religion they do not practice correctly and they have riches to take a break and do questionable things whenever they want. I hope she or he was not complaining about middle eastern people who leave Islamic dictatorships and shockingly they aren’t all actually Muslim or they may leave Islam and some of them accept various western habits including the nasty ones.

    • aang says:

      KT I agree. I don’t like being told how to dress based on the strictures of any patriarchal religion. Women can decide for themselves what modestly means. We don’t need men to decide for us.

  9. Helen says:

    People are aware that a bra doesn’t always stop nipples from showing, right?

    • Ash says:

      Yeah, but she clearly isn’t wearing one. Which is totally fine in most cases, you do you etc. – but not for a mosque (or church etc.).

    • EMc says:

      I don’t even see nipples…? Either I’m looking at the wrong photos or people are seriously reaching. In the photos where she’s inside her hair is almost entirely covered. I think this is just an example of people looking for a reason to attack her.

  10. Darla says:

    “between Amber and her ex-husband over the past year is because we investigated and are convinced there’s an army of paid trolls coming in to argue a certain perspective. ”

    Oh how interesting, I thought so.

    • detritus says:

      This was the most interesting part, to be honest.

      I can totally see people being paid to badmouth her. Depp is excellent at recruiting and grooming allies. I still remember Stanhopes letter, and it’s pretty ridiculous to use Winona as a reference, when he was close to a decade and a half older and she wasn’t even 20.

      Maybe he wasn’t violent with Ryder, but that’s so close to abuse and grooming it might as well be the same

  11. Jellybean says:

    She also seems to have taken selfies with people praying in the background. I am not religious, but I love going into Britain’s old churches, cathedrals, abbeys and pagan sites. The history of these places is awe inspiring and even I am affected by the knowledge that people have been praying there for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years I would never take a photograph inside a place of worship. It is just wrong.

  12. lunchcoma says:

    That picture doesn’t look like it was taken in a mosque, and she has everything she needs to follow the rules with some adjustments. I guess I would have assumed the button down shirt was included so that she could cover up the slip dress when needed.

  13. Gunna says:

    In the videos she posted inside the mosque her shirt was covering her nipples and her scarf was a bit higher on her head revealing less hair. For Istanbul that’s fine. The amount of tourists who wander round the mosques there wearing last nights club clothes and a borrowed scarf…this wouldn’t stand out in the slightest.

    As for her travelling, she had already spent weeks in the UK, so that changes some things as far as being an American in Europe.

  14. Diadochokinesis says:

    Ok, so my experience is Middle Eastern mosques for the most part. It totally wouldn’t have been allowed. All hair needed to be covered and we needed to be covered from head to toes. I wore ankle length jeans and a cardigan over a t-shirt with a hijab and was fine. Most women just threw on abayas.

    Side note: I made a comment about Meghan when she went to the mosque in SA about having too much hair out (after the writer was meh on it) and got REAMED for it. I love Meghan (it was one of her few mid-steps IMO and a relatively minor one) but do we have to do double standards?

    • TrixC says:

      Istanbul is a lot less strict than the Middle East, particularly major sites like the Blue Mosque.

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Buttoning the cardigan would have been better but she covered her hair. Amber has been in the UK because that is where the defamation case Johnny filed against her is currently being heard. So that’s probably how she was able to travel since she’s not on US soil anyway. Those in the UK have been able to travel since July.
    I firmly believe there is a concerted effort to harass and bully her online. Specifically her IG. She has always had her comments open on her IG and had to turn them off while the case has been going on because she was getting terrible harassing comments under all of her photos.

  16. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I absolutely think there is an untold massive number of paid posters spanning industries, celebrities, products, politics, and on and on. They’re everywhere. And to be paid for stirring pots anonymously makes me sick to my stomach, but then again, that’s why I quit my journalism job. My editor wanted me to be her bulldog, find controversies and turn on the industrial fans. Blech. I can certainly be mouthy and opinionated, but that’s me. Using me to incite negative emotion in others? Well that’s just against Queen Mab’s religion.

  17. Bonnie says:

    I was on Amber’s side until things started to come out about her. I think that both Amber and Johnny brought out the worst of each other. The relationship seemed to be toxic since it started (based on the info) hopefully they just move on and find a better match.

  18. anneliser says:

    I went to Istanbul a bit over a decade ago. It was a chilly time of year (want to say November, but it’s been a while), so I was always wearing plenty of clothes–usually jeans and sweaters–and people were very nice about the fact that I made the effort to wrap a scarf over my hair even though I’m sure some hair stuck out. I have bangs, and there wouldn’t be any easy way to cover them and still see, for instance.

    When I was there, a number of Western tourists went in and out of the big historic mosques without wearing any head covering at all, which I found rather obnoxious. It wasn’t “required” anywhere at that point, but things may have changed under Erdogan.

    • Sandii says:

      It is not “obnoxious”. Most Moslems in Turkey do not wear a headscarf. Only in the last years there is a more conservative Islam taking over. Very bad for the women’s rights situation and nothing were we should bow to…..

      • AnneliseR says:

        I think it’s obnoxious to enter any house of worship without showing respect for its traditions. I only put on a head scarf when I was actually inside a mosque–I didn’t wear one all over the city–but it felt like basic politeness to me.

  19. Amber says:

    Erdogan has recently decided that the Hagia Sophia is not a museum anymore and will become a mosque again and closed to visitors, so I would not be surprised if other historical sites/mosques will start having tighter restrictions as well.

  20. Mariam says:

    A mosque/ masjid is a place of worship and meditation that has a specific purpose and specific dress code that corresponds to that purpose. Many times, that code is clearly posted by the entrance and in some places they readily provide scarves, items of clothing to help visitors abide by the dress code. I never understand why this is hard for people to honor on their visits..many spaces require a certain kind of dress code like restaurants that require formal attire and footwear. And many spaces require a specific kind of behavior like libraries, where the visitor is encouraged to keep their voices low and allow others to focus on their studies. Western spaces have rules and eastern spaces have rules. A traveller has a responsibility to be conscious and respectful of the religious dimension in sacred spaces during their visit as determined by the space that they choose to visit. And if they don’t want to, museums are an alternative.

  21. Starkille says:

    She looks fine, and I’m wondering if the people complaining have actually seen a woman’s breast before. Unless her nipples are almost under her armpits, the “nipple” people are screaming about cannot anatomically be any such nipple. I don’t know what that black thing is but it’s not a nipple.