Arts, Culture & Media

Iran's latest campaign against western attire

(Why are the fashion police not turning away now?) It depends on the political situation there, for example on inside or outside pressure. It also has to do with summer�when it's warmer and people are more tempted to wear lighter clothes, the authorities are a bit tougher for the first few weeks. (But this is the hairstyles in addition to the clothes.) This has always been an issue, but now with 60-70% of houses having satellite dishes they can watch the internet and MTV and the culture of punk hairstyles is fashionable and boys are wearing spiky hair. So people have gotten stopped for that. (What happens if you do get caught?) If you stand in front of the authorities, which more and more young people are doing�we used to be more afraid of and respectful of the authorities�so they might get dragged into a car and taken to headquarters and have to stay there for a few hours, get questioned, sign a paper promising that they'll never do this again. Occasionally they force them to cut their hair right then. But there is a general air of lack of respect to all of these decrees so the authorities fight back against that a bit harder. When I grew up it wasn't as easy and I always went with the rules. But later after a couple of days of going around with my friends and family, I noticed boys and girls are walking hand in hand a lot more now, being more affectionate. I was initially comfortable with this and found it strange.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.