Shooting editorials in Tehran is never easy. Imagine a city like London. When a fashion media calls for blue ballerina flats to use in their upcoming editorial, they can easily find 200 pairs, and they can narrow it down to the one closest to what they have in mind. But not in Iran. The only submissions one would get are most likely the latest collections from local designers. The array of choices is very limited.
But, then again, despite all the challenges, it was the young, bold, and talented team behind Plastic Tehran who came together in its creation. To help send a message, the model confidently agreed to let TTT’s makeup artist exaggerate her looks, and an 18-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, in our lives, have 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 Times’ latest editorial Plastic Tehran 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, neither 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 it, may seem to be the easiest thing to do; however, it is by no means the healthiest. Plastic Tehran invites its audience to look twice when faced with the unknown.
Creative Direction and Styling –
Stylist Assistant –
Makeup Artist –
Neda Monem is a Tehran-based journalist, photographer and social media advisor. She covers arts, culture, society, tech and startups.