Kim Kardashian has been targeted by the country of Iran for encouraging Iranian women to post “promiscuous” photos of themselves — and human rights activists are going wild over what it means for women’s rights worldwide. According to the International Campaign for Human Rights, 58 models, 51 designers, and 59 photographers and makeup artists based in Iran have been targeted, with eight of them being arrested, by Iranian authorities for refusing to “reform” their “immoral” Instagram photos copying Kim.
Kim Kardashian is one of the most followed celebrities on Instagram, with over 70 million followers. Every day, Kim posts photos and videos featuring the latest fashion trends, which naturally spark imitation photos worldwide as young women attempt to emulate the latest looks.
Kim Kardashian Doesn't Understand How Bras Work https://t.co/ms2KEGCxEe— Steven Poulton (@AffiliateBuildr) May 25, 2016
Earlier this week, Mostafa Alizadeh, a spokesman for the state-run Centre to Combat Organised Cybercrime, alleged in a statement that Kim is collaborating with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom for the purpose of encouraging Iranian women to violate Islamic dress codes and undermining Iran’s morality laws. In Iran, a 1979 law requires women to cover their hair, but according to authorities, women who show off Kim Kardashian hairstyles on Instagram are violating the country’s modesty laws — and authorities believe Kim Kardashian herself is to blame.
This isn’t the first time Iranian women have been targeting for trying to be fashionable. Alizadeh confirmed to the media that the Centre to Combat Organised Cybercrime “carried out this plan in 2013 with Facebook, and now Instagram is the focus.” In fact, in the past, Iranian women have been arrested in violation of the 1979 morality law simply for showing a single strand of hair, and their fingernails were checked for traces of nail polish. Women were also forced to endure a “sniff test” to make sure they weren’t wearing perfume.
According to a BBC News report, the Iranian government believes “[s]terilizing popular cyberspaces is on our agenda,” and in particular, stopping women who post photos imitating Kim Kardashian. Similarly, Alizadeh claims that “Ms. Kim Kardashian is a popular fashion model so Instagram’s CEO tells her, ‘make this native,’ ” and while “[t]here is no doubt that financial support is involved as well,” the Iranian government is taking it “very seriously” that Kim Kardashian is a spy bent on encouraging Iranian women to be immodest.
The laws are so restrictive that targeting women for imitating Kim Kardashian has very real consequences, with women being arrested and abused for simply trying to apply makeup like Kardashian. Naturally, Kim has denied any involvement with any plans to undermine Iran’s morality laws, but women are still being targeted for expressing themselves using the latest makeup and hairstyles Kardashian flaunts on Instagram.
One famous example of the oppressive laws is Instagram model Elham Arab, who was famous for flaunting blonde hair. After she was targeted by the Iranian government for her “promiscuous” choices, in other words, posing like Kim Kardashian while testing out different fashion looks, Elham Arab was forced to acknowledge her cybercrime, and appeared with dark colored hair under a chador to apologize for her mistake to the Iranian Revolutionary Court. In a prepared statement broadcast nationally on Iranian television, Arab pointed out that while “all people love beauty and fame” like Kim Kardashian, “it is important to know what price they will pay to be seen.”
Another Instagram model who channels Kim Kardashian is Elnaz Golrokh, who was forced to leave Iran with her husband, Hamid Fadaei, after they were targeted by officials. Leaving Iran for Dubai so she could pursue her modeling career, Elnaz’s career has exploded, however, many women can’t leave, and are still being arrested and punished for posting photos looking like Kim Kardashian.
What do you think? Do you fear for women’s safety worldwide for simply copying Kim Kardashian? Leave a comment below!
[Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]