In Iran, summer came with a severe crackdown on the Islamic dress code.
Said Tehran’s police chief Hossein Sajedinia on the recent crackdown:
The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehavior by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values… In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins.
The photo above, from Iran Focus, shows a fine of 22,500 Toman handed down by Iran’s morality police to a woman for wearing nail polish in public. The ticket also shows a list of other offenses and their respective fines:
Glasses over the hair: 18,000 Toman
Short manteau: 25,000 Toman
Bright manteau (green or red color): 25,000 Toman
Nail polish per finger: 5,000 Toman
Tan: 25,000 Toman
Light hair (depending on the color): From 50,000 to 150,000 Toman
Like many others, when I first saw this photo, several questions came to mind. What if you are a natural blonde? Why is having a tan un-Islamic? Isn’t it only natural to put your sunglasses on top of your head when you’re not wearing them? How can they ban wearing a green manteau, when green is the color of Islam?
I thought it couldn’t get much more ridiculous.
Of course, I was proven wrong yet again. This week, Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance issued a series of photographs of approved Muslim hairstyles in effort to ban the country of “decadent Western cuts.” According to the guide, ponytails, elaborate spikes, long hair, and mullets are now illegal.
“The proposed styles are inspired by Iranians’ complexion, culture and religion, and Islamic law,” said Jaleh Khodayar, who is in charge of the Modesty and Veil Festival at which the guide will be promoted later this month. Yet while Iranian complexion is quite diverse, the choice of hairstyles is not. With little sideburns and limited use of gel allowed, almost all models in the guide sport very similar 80s-like hairstyles.
With increased international isolation, it seems Iran has been increasingly turning within itself, and the Iranian people have been left to deal with the repercussions. And one of the many consequences will be that Iranian men will be having bad hair days more often.