There are many things about my home country which I find deeply annoying, distressing, frustrating, ludicrous to the point of wanting to stuff my head in a pile of mud, upsetting and basically traumatizing.
Pretty high on the list, though perhaps not exactly amongst the top ten, is the absolutely ridiculous headgear that Iran Air female flight attendants have to wear.
Now I myself have a weakness for bizarre headgear, as you may have guessed-my current favourite is a fluffy felty creamy-white cloche-type thing and I love seeing hats on other women, even hats with pompoms (though I draw the line at wearing pompoms myself). So take my word that the Iran Air travesty is seriously off.
Basically, it’s the little round pillbox-type cap which gets my goat. This brimless cap is fitted under a flowing crepe affair which frames the face (completely hiding all hair, it goes without saying, or at least it should). The cap and the flowing crepe thing are in dark blue, except on the left side, there is a sort of hanging pleated swath of cloth in what I think was meant to be old gold, but is actually the yellow of a diseased chickpea, an unhealthy and unflattering shade. This pleated part falls down and is flung across the shoulders, like a scarf.
It is obviously uncomfortable, unflattering, unnecessarily complicated and was probably designed by a fanatic male aeronautical engineer who had a secret yearning to be an artist. Or something.
The contrast between these farcical attempts to combine religious modesty, traditional styling and a sense of global officialdom, with the plain white shirts and dark pants which constitute the male flight attendant uniform is sad. Sometimes I think it would be better if they simply stopped having female flight attendants, although of course that this is not the answer.
At least in this case, unlike the raging debate over high heels in the workplace which was entertaining parts of The Western World a few months ago, no one can claim that any woman actually likes to wear these things on their heads and around their necks and faces. I mean, you don’t get to see any fashionable imitations in the huge Tehran malls and bazaars, which is a pretty good indicator.
Talk about the patriarchy imposing their fetishistic standards of what they believe is suitable female clothing on women.