Look, a neck

Kaveh takes a look at the semiotics of Iran’s media coverage (or lack of coverage) of Maryam Mirzakhani’s winning of the Fields medal.

It’s all about the hijab.

The government paper uses a photo of her from when she was trapped in Iran and had to wear it.

Other papers retouch the photo so that the hijab disappears.

Rouhani used two photos, the one with hijab and another without.

Embedded image permalink

Signs, signs, signs.


  1. Latverian Diplomat says

    Pierce, I’m not sure of the reason for your question, so I apologize if I state something obvious to you below.

    The non-Hijab second picture is not the retouch. For that, follow the link to the original article.

    Otherwise, the lighting is what makes the difference. The Hijab photo is an amateur snapshot, the refelection of the flash makes the irises appear quite dark. The non-hijab picture looks like a more professional photo, using indirect lighting, allowing the color of the irises to captured more accurately.

  2. lorn says

    My understanding, having lived there for a few years, is that well formed necks are considered quite alluring in the traditional Japanese culture. It has to do with traditional clothing and makeup leaving the neck as the only part of their anatomy left relatively uncovered.

    It also tells me something about male attention. If you cover the women any part left uncovered will take on more highly concentrated sexual focus and become something of a fetish. If the female form is partially excluded men will focus on what remains. So Japanese men compose songs about the beauty of their love’s neck and Iranian men getting flustered by the sight of an exposed neck. In cultures that eliminate almost all exposure to the female form the men fetishise the idea of the female form.

    Fetishism is usually part of a complex. The object of fedishized desire is loved and hated, desired and despised, lusted after and feared.

  3. quixote says

    So, let’s see. There’s a genius at whom her country could choose to point with pride.

    Or they can spend their whole time hysterical over her hair.

    Is this shit ever going to END?

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