After the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, strict restrictions were put upon both men and women; pop music was prohibited, boys and girls not related to each other were not allowed to be seen together in public, girls as young as the age of 9 had to wear the Islamic ‘hijab’ at school and the use of make-up was banned.
After these new rules were established, women started to push back against the strict restrictions imposed upon them and heavy use of make-up became a reaction to living under the clerical rules of an Islamic regime.
For some, it became a symbol of defiance and a means of empowerment. Rules are more lenient now since the early days of the revolution, but the underlying law of covering one’s hair and modesty still apply.
And make-up still plays a big part in daily life.