Why Women are cutting hair for Mehsa Amini of Iran? The protest move, adopted by stars including French actresses Juliette Binoche and Marion Cotillard, as well as Iranian women in cities around the world, is gaining momentum on video platforms
Why Women are cutting hair for Mehsa Amini of Iran? Donya Dadrasan, an Iranian pop star who has more than 2.5 million followers on Instagram, moved to Australia when she was 12, but she remembers her female family members fearing the authorities back in Iran. She worried that she would be fined, arrested, or even killed if her hijab did not cover her hair enough. "All the women around me were always scared and tense on seeing the morality police," she said in an interview.
Ms Dadrasan, 24-year-old who sings in Farsi and is popular among youth in Iran, made a music video earlier this year, "Amu Hassan", which featured an imaginary conversation with Iranian security forces. So when the singer heard the news on September 16 that a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, had died in police custody after allegedly violating the country's strict Islamic dress code, she was outraged. In response, Ms Dadarasan chopped off her long, highlighted gray hair, filmed the action and posted it on TikTok and Instagram reels on 19 September.The haircut was rapidly growing in popularity in solidarity with a protest movement: women around the world clip their locks and burn their hijabs in response to Ms Amini's death, posting the resulting videos on social media platforms. Other protesters have done so live in gatherings that have erupted in Iran and elsewhere in the past few weeks.
“I did it spontaneously because I was angry – and sad too,” Ms Dadrasan said. "I wanted to show the women of Iran that I am with them and I want to be part of the protest." Women's hair, deeply personal, has long been a conduit for activism. In the 1920s flappers curled their hair to signify their liberation. In the late 1960s, black women such as activist and author Angela Davis wore their hair in afros to express their pride and affiliation with the Black Liberation movement. In 2014, designer Vivienne Westwood shaved her head to protest climate change.
"Everyone knows," said Ms. Dadarasan, "how important hair is to women." In Iran, where an ultra-Orthodox regime enforces a strict Islamic dress code that requires women to cover their hair, wear modest clothing and avoid too much makeup, among other rules, more and more women are violating the rules. Is doing. Ms. Dadrasan, like other Iranian women I spoke to, insisted that she was not anti-hijab. She thinks that Iranian women should have the right to choose whether or not to wear a headscarf, and that they should not be punished for showing their hair. Iranian law states that women who violate the code can be fined, jailed for up to two months and face public floggings.
Ms. Dadrasan has joined a wave of prominent women in Europe over the past week calling for a change in Iran following Ms. Amini’s death.
On 4 October, Abir al-Sahlani, a member of the European Parliament, cut his ponytail during a speech at the Parliament House in Strasbourg, France, as a statement of support for the movement. The Iraq-born Swede said, "Until Iran becomes independent, our fury will be greater than that of the oppressors. We will stand with you until the women of Iran are free. continued in, "Woman, Life, Freedom." In an email, Ms. Al-Sahlani said, "I wanted to show the women of Iran that they have been heard, and that they have a voice in the European Parliament. I will not just make a speech, but a speech to outline my anger." Wanted to do physical expression."
Isabel Huppert and Marion Cotillard
Also this week, a group of famous French actresses, including Isabel Huppert and Marion Cotillard, released a montage of themselves cutting their hair. The video is intercut with text telling the story of Ms Amini's death. It begins with Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche declaring "for freedom" as she decisively cuts her hair. In one clip, singer Jane Birkin and her daughter, singer and actor Charlotte Gainsbourg, cut their hair together. The film was directed by human rights lawyer Richard Sedilot. The actresses did not comment, and neither did Mr Sedilot. In the context of a deeply rooted authoritarian regime and the violence of the protests, what exactly is the point of a TikTok with a pop star or an actress cutting their hair? Gina Khayer, an Iranian writer and poetess born in Germany and living in Paris, re-shared the video of French actresses on Instagram. "It is very important that women around the world raise the voice of women in Iran," she said. "The more popular and powerful women are, the greater their influence."