A recent CNN article says that an Iranian official believes the importation of Western toys has serious destructive consequences, especially for Iranian culture and society. While Batman, Spiderman, and Harry Potter toys are bad, the worst is Barbie. There has been a ten year campaign against Barbie by the Iranian government, but they’re apparently “alarmed” at the rate of Western dolls showing up in shops across the country.
According to Iranian Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi, who issued the latest warning, Iran is the world’s third largest importer of toys and states that smuggling imports of Western toys is a threat to the “identity” of the new generation. The main issue, of course, is that Iran a nation whose Islamic fundamentalist government seems to despise everything American, is dealing with Barbie dolls who wear bathing suits and miniskirts. This is the country where women have to wear headscarves in public, where modesty between the sexes is not only encouraged, but enforced, and like to call us “The Great Satan.” The illegal importation of Barbie isn’t going to help our image much.
There are two semi-interesting reasons about this story, which link to its appearance here:
First, in this country, Barbie has become not only the toy du jour of little sisters everywhere, but an American mainstay. It’s right up there with mom, the 4th of July, and apple pie. And, thanks to the advent of cosmetic surgery, there are women walking around who look a lot like Barbie might if she were a real person. And, what may be worse for parents, traditional values, et cet, is that there are really young girls who want to be Barbie when they grow up (that is, look exactly like her).
Now, imagine a country where thousands of young Persian girls who will have a forced conservative upbringing look at Barbie’s blue eyes, blonde hair, as well as her figure, and decide they don’t want to look Iranian anymore. It’s easy for us in the Western world to say there’s no problem with this – if that’s how they want to look, it’s their business (and, by the way, Barbie is a toy). However, the Iranian government – and, we must stress here, not all the people of the country – officially hate us (unofficially is another question). They can’t have the next generation growing up wanting to look blond and blue-eyed, and thinking Westerners must be all right since some of our women remind them of Barbie. The Iranian answer to this “Trojan horse”? Alas, this 2002 ploy failed as the Barbie dolls continued to sell.
Here’s the second reason: Iran has been labeled the nose job capital of the world. No kidding. It beats out Beverly Hills, California for this honor. And it’s both men and women having the rhinoplasty. There are whole families of rich Iranians who get nose jobs, and it isn’t something to be ashamed of over there while it continues to raise eyebrows over here. Yet it isn’t only nose jobs Iranians are getting. It is face lifts and eye lid procedures, too. However, it isn’t only the rich who visit their local cosmetic surgeon. Those clerics who decide what people can wear, watch, act like, and more are occasionally also customers.
While it has been reported that Iranians are flocking to the huge number (around 3000 in Tehran alone) of cosmetic surgeons in order to look more like Westerners, it has also been reported that so many women get rhinoplasty because their nose is the only part of their body that can be seen peeking out of their robes. Then there are the Iranians who say, “Everyone would love to have a more beautiful face.” Sounds like something an American would say, don’t you think?
While the physical differences between those of Persian descent and European descent are obvious, the fact that both groups are flocking to cosmetic surgeons to enhance or change the way they look for many of the same reasons may show that we’re more similar than our governments and our media would like for us to believe.
If you are interested in how rhinoplasty can enhance your own features, please contact an experienced cosmetic surgeon in your area.