When Hijab Was Not In Force, Vintage Photographs Show How Iranian Women Dressed In The 1960s And 1970s
There was a good balance of modernity and modesty during the 1950s and ’60s. Women were emancipated but kept their Iranian identity. The look was stylish and elegant without being vulgar. Skirts were long and full showing as little skin as possible.
By the late 1970s, miniskirts, shorts, tight jeans and bikinis became highly fashionable for women. It was a bit much for a predominantly Muslim and traditional nation. Young women and girls often flaunted their bodies in public to tease and provoke men. This may have been proper behavior for the Lebanese Christians but not for us Iranians. As a result, women were sometimes sexually harassed or assaulted in public. For instance, an attractive young woman wearing a miniskirt was raped at a vegetable market in broad daylight in central Tehran. Yet, safety wasn’t the main concern for women.
It was very trendy to completely mimic the Western look and manners without having the mindset. Tehran’s department stores and boutiques carried the latest European fashion lines and makeup. Iranian magazines often featured young women in slutty outfits and suggestive poses. Also, women were depicted as seductive and frivolous sex objects in film. The State TV even aired sexually explicit European series such as Tales from the village ‘Dastanhaye Dehkadeh’. This issue may have contributed tho the collapse of the regime in the late ’70s.