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Iran: Iran veils

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Iran veils | Iran | Asia

[Visited: April 2001]

There is no way to escape it: Iran has strict rules for clothes which mainly apply for women. Just before landing from a European country, all women in the plane already get their veils out and be sure to cover their heads. They will only be bareheaded in the privacy of their hotel rooms. Apart from this, clothes that do not define the female body have to be worn. At the more holy places, additional clothing is required - a chador, which in Farsi literally means tent.

Picture of Iran veils (Iran): Women covering up in the streets of Iran

Apart for the inconvenience for women, women sailing through the streets and bazaars are also photogenic. Their black colour make them stick out against nearly every background, and the fluttering of their long tails give them grace and elegance. For the western eye, it is peculiar enough to see veiled women not only at mosques, but also driving a car, reading a book in the street, buying an ice cream, or making a phone call.

Picture of Iran veils (Iran): Veiled woman reading in Gom

While the original idea was to make a view of the sensual body of women impossible, the effect of veils has another effect. Whenever you see a woman, you try to guess what she must be like. Is she old or young, fat or slim, attractive or ugly? At least for someone not used to seeing women covered up without exception, it makes them stand out of the crowd. Although their dress create some distance between you and the bearer, it also happens that curious eyes look at you from within the black veil. After all, despite the dress and the ideas behind it, those women wearing it are human.

Picture of Iran veils (Iran): Veiled women at mosque
Picture of Iran veils (Iran): Veiled women chatting in the streets
Picture of Iran veils (Iran): Veiled women walking the streets
Picture of Iran veils (Iran): Veiled women in bazar of Esfahan
Picture of Iran veils (Iran): Veiled women making a phone call

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