Stan Lee Pengelly's Travels

The Mind inside the Chador: Female Vanity in Iran

Stylish Nose Bandage

When I saw the third or fourth Iranian woman woman with a bandage on her nose, I asked my guide, “Do Iranian women get nose jobs?” He said yes, many do because women are required in Iran to wear a chador which only allows the face to be seen in public and women’s vanity dictates that the they have to look good. Many young women get a nose job to fix the slightest imperfections. In fact, Iran is second only to Brazil for cosmetic surgeries.

Photoshoot with nose bandage

I had to chuckle at that.  I’ve learned that women, no matter if they are Iranian, American, Brazilian or Australian Aborigine have in their DNA this obsession with their appearance.  And anything that can be done, no matter the co$t, to improve it requires sometimes elaborate measures to fix a perceived flaw.  Example:  a woman I knew told me about her daughter getting a nose job.  This young woman since 6th grade had this nagging worry about her nose not being just so.  It seems a boy had pointed out the tiny deviation from perfection and 12 years later she shelled out $5000 to a cosmetic surgeon to fix it.  I saw the before and after photos.  Unless it was pointed out to me, I wouldn’t have detected the slightest difference.  I mean, damn!  That slight change cost $5000?!?!   Are you out of your f_cking mind?

Anyway, in Iran where women, if they are to keep the all-powerful conservative clergy off their ass, must wear a chador that covers nearly all of the body except for the face.  Therefore, for the competitive, insecure woman who wants to look better than the next chador-laden girl will invest a lot in her face.  Sometimes that means surgery.  And the haute couture of the modern Iranian woman is a white bandage running the length of her nose.



About Stan Pengelly

I used to be an engineer and found that a very boring, uncreative pursuit.  So in 2005 I quit, walked away from the career and the college degrees.  Now, I own a small business and do a lot of foreign travel.  I love photography and mixed with my traveling I get to be as creative as I  want.

3 thoughts on “The Mind inside the Chador: Female Vanity in Iran”

  1. Nose jobs are quite common in Iran among men and women actually. It’s not just a woman’s thing

  2. These days many men get hair transplants as women like to get breast jobs. It should be up to the individual to spend their money how they wish. Nose jobs don’t necessarily appeal to me as I hate pain but every month I do the trip to the hairdresser and contribute to the construction of her new house.

  3. Penny Frederiksen, that’s so funny. I saw your pic earlier on and thought, ‘That lady is well able to rough it but she likes her glamorous highlights too 🙂’. I’m getting my highlights done today, need my glamour fix as well! Enjoy your current trip.

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