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March 09, 2005

Higher Heels, Shorter Skirts: Pink Revolution Hits Iran

Not sure how female sexuality became so intimately connected with progress and freedom, but, okay, not complaining or anything:

In a city that only a few years ago was almost monochromatic — full of women draped head to toe in black — women and girls this winter are sporting pink coats, pink sweaters, pink head scarves, shoes and bags.

Iran's Islamic rulers appear to have given up trying to make women observe more than the letter of the hijab, the Koran's admonition that Muslim women outside their homes should cover everything but their faces, hands and feet. The change has been gradual, but this year coats have gotten shorter, brighter and tighter, heels higher and scarves have slipped farther back to reveal most of women's hair.

Iran's “pink revolution” is a silent fashion statement that sends a powerful message. Unable to act overtly against the rigid Islamism that has shaped Iranian political and cultural life since the U.S.-backed shah was overthrown in 1979, many Iranians express their contempt for the government through their clothing.


“The more you look at the people in the streets, they don't look like Iranians any more,” says Goli Emami, a translator of English books into the Iranian language Farsi.

Of more than 50 Iranians interviewed here during a two-week visit, most were contemptuous of their government and the direction the country is moving. “This life is like death,” says Mohammed Mohammedi, 26, a jeans-clad English teacher in Tehran who works odd jobs to make ends meet.

They're risking public beatings to wear short skirts in Tehran, but I can't even convince women to wear the "Ace of Spades High School" cheerleader outfit I keep in my closet.

I feel sexy wearing it. Why shouldn't they? I mean, honestly.

Thanks to LauraW.

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posted by Ace at 12:54 PM

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