Shooting editorials in Tehran, always has its difficulties. In a city like London when a fashion media outlet calls for a blue ballerina flat to be used in an editorial, nearly 200 pairs come in and nearly all fit the image. In Iran selection is not as easy, for it is mostly the new collections which designers like to submit; which is why options are limited.
Then again what made up for the difficulties of creating Plastic Tehran was the young, bold, and talented team who came together in its creation.To help send a message, the model confidently agreed for The Tehran Times’ make-up artist to fix her up so that her looks become more exaggerated than what she looks like in everyday life and an eighteen year old photographer, was given freedom to exercise her art while deviating from her usual darker tones. The results? That would be for our audience to judge.
Growing up, almost every one of us has dealt with the fear of being judged. All of us have in our lifetime been exposed to the poison of individuals who see it upon themselves to loudly voice their opinions about everything and anything.
To avoid unwanted judgment, many of us find it easier and more convenient to revert to secrecy, to lies, and to pretense; little by little we may end up isolating ourselves or becoming highly selective in who we choose to see.
Growing up with such fears makes it extremely difficult for us to discover who we are and even more difficult not to lose touch with what truly identifies us. In this fragile context, in order to solve one problem we end up tangled in a bigger one: we trick ourselves into believing false concepts just to be able to fit in.
Using plastic surgery as a theme, The Tehran Time’s latest editorial “Plastic Tehran” is is an invitation to seeing things from a different angle: while believed to be dangerously addictive, plastic surgery is neither good, nor bad. To preserve the natural state of the body or not is a personal choice; those who choose to modify their bodies aren’t necessarily superficial, nor do they suffer from low self-esteem.
Pushing anything that seems different outside of our safe circle, labeling and categorizing the unfamiliar instead of giving it an opportunity and trying to learn and understand may seem to be the easiest thing to do; however, it is by no means the healthiest. Plastic Tehran, invites its audience to observe twice when faced with the unknown.
Creative direction and styling –
Voice Of Breath13
Stylist’s assistant –
Makeup artist –
Neda Monem is a Tehran-based journalist, photographer and social media advisor. She covers arts, culture, society, tech and startups.