Unfortunately, leopard and tiger prints have never truly gone out of fashion for Iranian women. Since as far back as I could remember, my female compatriots have displayed a weakness for all things leopard: scarves, tops, leggings, headbands, even leopard-print cuffs and collars on manteaus (the thin coats we have to wear outside to preserve our modesty and protect us from rape- and imprisonment- and worse). In any party or gathering, there is bound to be at least three women out of ten wearing some leopard print, somewhere on their person. And accordingly, my hatred of this particular print is deeply entrenched in my psyche, so much so that I instantly feel deep and unwarranted hostility to any woman who is adorned with so much as a leopard-print ribbon, and will have trouble talking to her without a sneer.
But today, I underwent a conversion, my Iranian blood showed itself, and I joined my Iranian sisters in love of the leopard.
The back-to-school coat is reversible, knee length, cut from the shoulders with a swing (this means it is not belted). One side is matte plastic (like a raincoat), coloured deep pink, with a huge Tinkerbell on the back, and a smaller one on the breast. The cuffs and collar is trimmed with fake pink leopard fur: darker pink spots on a lighter pink background. Reversed, you have a full-length coat, in fake pink leopard fur.
I do hope you guessed instantly that this was for my daughter?
She fell in love at first sight, and danced with joy as the coat was bought. As for me, I am ashamed to confess that I felt madly jealous, and wondered for an instant why can’t a thirty-four year old mum who is starting a master’s degree in development wear pink faux leopard fur coat? The coat is stunning, overreaching kitsch and cutesy. And no less beyond-cute was my daughter’s pronounced intention that she will wear it with the leopard side out on the days that she is feeling wicked and evil. Her identification of evil with the leopard print made me think perhaps I had a psychological point about disliking women bearing leopard prints…