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Iran models seek ‘porn star’ look: photographer

In Iran, the girl next door is out; the porn star look is in

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In Iran, the girl next door is out; the porn star look is in, according to one prominent Iranian fashion photographer.

As the modeling profession skyrockets in Iran, girls hoping to enter the competitive market are increasingly altering their appearances to the ‘porn star’ look, states the photographer known as B.K, according to The Guardian.

Foregoing capitalizing on their natural Iranian-esque beauty, models are seeking the ‘porn star’ look, or one that looks highly doctored and surgically altered, the well-known photographer explains.

In an increasingly vanity-driven culture, plastic surgery has become the norm among Iran’s middle and upper classes, with one of the world’s highest nose surgery rate, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Despite the expanding opportunities for models, those not wearing the hijab are legally banned from appearing in magazines, TV commercials or are catwalks. Even fashion shows that feature women wearing a hijab must first seek an official permit from the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, a difficult task.

For female models seeking to work without a hijab, work must be conducted in secrecy under the radar of the authorities.
Since there are few catwalks in Iran and the fashion scene is much more about photo shoots, an Iranian model Mahya explains.

While she said being tall is not necessarily a plus for models, “They choose the women more often who have had cosmetic surgery – women with lip and cheekbone enhancements or nose surgery,” she explains.

While Mahya says she values her natural look and denies have plastic surgery, she does agree that models with less traditional Iranian features are more popular.

With competition running high between models, it is not uncommon for those starting out to work for free. Models who represent themselves struggle to gain the same traffic as those connected to a studio. Established models can make up to one million tomans – about £220 – for a TV advertisement, or 400,000 tomans per day for a fashion shoot.

However, women must walk a fine line between success and super-stardom.

Becoming too known is riskier for women than it is for men. Many thus prefer to work exclusively underground, finding acclaim within the elite north Tehran fashion community.

Others choose the hijab-only route, which allows them more public exposure.