Earlier this week, we reported on the shocking arrest of Instagrammer, Sahar Tabar.

Tabar has become well-known across social media for her unusual appearance - it was speculated that she had undergone over fifty cosmetic operations - and the Insta star has been arrested by the Iranian authorities, accused of blasphemy, inciting violence, and corrupting youth through social media.

This isn't the first time that the Islamic State has thrown an Instagrammer in jail because they do not follow their oppressive rules. Despite the clearly unfair treatment going on here, many have dismissed the case because of Tabar's appearance, which has been likened to Angelina Jolie and Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

Whilst I don't believe that whatever surgery she may or may not have had should weigh in on this case of government oppression, I think that these new photos will change some people's minds on this case. The new photos that have emerged reveal what Sahar Tabar actually looks like.

Continue scrolling to see the Photoshop and make-up free snaps.

Perhaps understanding that the Islamic State of Iran's cyber policing has led to the arrest of a "normal" looking young woman, people will take this whole thing more seriously.

Meet Shahar Tabar.

As you can see, this young woman certainly appears to have an unusual look.

Similiar looking?

Tabar has been compared to Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

The story surrounding her look has taken the internet by storm.

With people debating what inspired Shahar Tabar's look, the Instagrammer has collected a variety of fans, mythologizing who she is and what she stands for.

I am my own muse...

Speaking out about the mystery surrounding why she underwent all that surgery and such, the Instagrammer stated: "I did not even think about being like Jolie. Also, I did not want to resemble the cartoon character the Corpse Bride." But there's no denying that Sahar does now bear a striking resemblance to both Jolie and the Corpse Bride. She accepts this and stated: "Now I understand that I have something to do with them, but I am a muse myself and remembering someone is not an end in itself."

Sahar never had the ambition to look like Jolie.

It has been speculated that the twenty-two-year-old got lip fillers, liposuction, and a nose job made her look like Hollywood A-lister, Angelina Jolie.

Sahar can be seen wearing a loose hijab in most of her posts.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, hijabs have been compulsory. The rule clearly states that women must adorn loose-fitting clothing and a headscarf in public.

Introducing: the debate surrounding whether or not the Internet is a public space...

In many of the Instagrammer's posts, she does not wear a hijab. You could argue that taking a photo at home, where you are allowed to not adorn a scarf, is perfectly acceptable. You could also argue that sharing it in the public sphere of Instagram goes against the Islamic State's regime.

"There is no cyber law in Iran's constitution."

via: Twitter/ Krupa Padhy BBC

BBC Global News Journalist, Roja Assadi spoke up about the crackdown on "Instagram influencers" by the Iranian government. She explained that, despite there being no law in Iran about what you post online, they have adopted applying the same constitutional laws they have elsewhere to that which is posted online and on social media. Assadi explains that the Iranian cyber police will target people who are "not following Islamic ethical code, from clothes to behavior."

Iran's Cyber Police (FATA).

via: Getty Images

In a fascinating piece posted on Medium, Kaveh Azarhoosh exposes the dark world of Iran's cyber police. In a notion passed by The Islamic State of "self-policing" over 42,000 civilians volunteer to police the web, ensuring that Iranians are following the strict Islamic code. We can assume that it was through this system that Sahar Tabar was caught out.

Not everyone in Iran will be silenced.

Despite the dangers of contesting the Islamic State regime, there are people protesting the Sahar's arrest.

This case has reminded people of the Iranian government's dark history of silencing online users.

In November 2012, the Iranian government arrested, tortured and ultimately murdered blogger, Sattar Beheshti. Beheshti was a young blogger who had written criticism of the government and the regime.

People have not forgotten what happened to Beheshti.

The murder of the Iranian blogger resulted in a public outcry and human rights organizations across the world spoke out. The government was forced to lead an investigation. The public demanded that the Chief of FATA Seyyed Kamal Hadianfar was replaced, but after much agro, nothing changed. FATA continued its online censorship and nothing could be done.

Sahar's unusual appearance has meant a lot of people are not taking this seriously.

A young woman has been arrested by the Islamic Republic for what they have deemed "blasphemous behavior." No one is aware of what is being done to her or whether she will be released anytime soon. This is an extremely distressing situation, and yet there are people on Twitter that would rather make fun of her appearance.

Behind the makeup is a young woman who is being unfairly persecuted.

The Iranian government does not have a good track record with its treatment of political prisoners. It seems even ridiculous to consider Tabar to be a political activist.  Frankly, I feel as though she is just a young woman exploring her sense of self and identity through art.

"It is a way of expressing yourself, a kind of art."

Previously, Sahar stated that painting her face and contorting the images of herself through the medium of photoshop was a way of expressing herself. It is this self-expression that has clearly disheveled some people in the FATA cyber-police.

The case of Maedeh Hojabri.

In June 2018, eighteen-year-old, Maedeh Hojabri was arrested for posting videos of herself dancing on Instagram. This wasn't the first time that the State has arrested people for dancing, back in 2014, a group of young Iranians was arrested for posting a video of themselves dancing to Pharrell Williams' "Happy." The arrest of Hojabri caught widespread attention, and her situation struck a chord with people all over the world.

The arrest of Maedeh Hojabri looked very bad for the Iranian government.

That being said, despite public outcry and a movement of defiance taking place in July of 2018, with hundreds of Iranians posting videos of themselves dancing on Insta, the State still won.

Maedeh Hojabri was forced to issue a public apology on Iranian TV.

Hojabri's face was apparently obscured, but it was clear that she was tearful as she expressed her deep regret for posting the "inappropriate" dance videos to Instagram. The Instagrammer, who had over sixty-thousands followers prior to her arrest, has now completely disappeared. She has totally vanished from the public eye and her whereabouts remain unknown. The parading of the young woman on television caused outrage but this did nothing to prevent the government from furthering its surveillance on social media.

As of July last year, the Iranian judiciary has been in talks concerning the filtering of Instagram.

via: Getty Images.

In a push to maintain Iran's strict rules of the Islamic State, they have already been implementing systematic filtering surveillance on Facebook, Telegram, and Twitter. It seems after the "dance fiasco" Insta was next on the list.

Before the Islamic revolution of 1979, things were a lot different.

Women could wear skirts, trousers, whatever they wanted, and headscarves were not compulsory.

Educate yourself.

If you are not aware of what happened following the Islamic State revolution of 1979, then I encourage you to read up on it. The wonderful graphic novel, Persepolis, written by Marjane Satrapi is the story of an Iranian woman who lived through the revolution and was subjected to changing herself to fit the regime.

Persepolis was also turned into a movie in 2007.

If you're not much of a reader, you can get a copy of the movie. It really is an important story in understanding the oppression of women in the Iranian state. Many people do not understand that the headscarf is supposed to be a choice; the way it is enforced in Iran has nothing to do with religion and has everything to do with political control and the oppression of women.

Women should be free to paint their faces, dance in their bedrooms, and do whatever the hell they want.

We hope that Sahar Tabar is in good health and is released soon. We hope that this young woman does not disappear like Maedeh Hojabri or get murdered in custody like Sattar Beheshti. Despite whether you think Tabar is strange or peculiar, in reality, she is a normal, vulnerable Iranian girl.

Cosmetic surgery is really popular in Iran.

I think it's safe to say that Sahar has had some surgery. But, in Iran, that it is much normal than it is here in the U.S. Iran actually has the highest rate of nose surgery operations in the world. The Guardian reported in 2013 that over two-hundred-thousand women in Iran get nose jobs each year.

"Displaying our 'art' on our faces."

via: Getty Images.

Part of the reason that women in Iran have been getting an increasing amount of cosmetic surgery, primarily nose jobs, in recent years is due to a backlash following the revolution. Now that women in Iran are forced to wear the hijab and their fashion choices have been limited, they are seeking alternative ways to express themselves. One Iranian woman who spoke to The Guardian said: "It's human nature to want to seek out attention with a beautiful figure, hair, skin … but the hijab doesn't let you do that. So we have to satisfy that instinct by displaying our 'art' on our faces."

Aspiring to have freedom.

via: Getty Images.

The fashion for Iranian women to get surgery to reduce the size of their nose and have the tip turned upwards is often seen as an attempt to westernize themselves. Western fashion has been banned from Iran since the revolution; even jeans have been banned. If Iranian women are "westernizing" their faces, it could be seen as a quite a political act.

The nose job situation in Iran is fascinating.

Now that it has bled so deeply into the mainstream of Iranian culture, it is even seen as a status symbol, to prove that you can afford to get one.

Oppression has destroyed the self-esteem of many Iranian women.

Bxeauty standards and the insistence that the most important thing that Iranian women can achieve is bagging a husband has also led to the rise in cosmetic surgeries. A psychiatrist and family counselor, Reza, explained: "Some may have had tense, problematic childhoods. Thus they suffer from low self-esteem and resort to these surgeries because they think it will lead to a better, more enjoyable social life." With surgery being so popular, there is a common belief now that, if women don't undergo surgery, they will find it more difficult to fit in and their god-given nose will suggest that they come from a poor economic background.

Now how do you feel about Sahar Tabar?

Understanding how prominent cosmetic surgery is in her culture and appreciating the Iranian woman's plight to achieve a sense of self-expression and freedom, can you see how terrible it is that she has been arrested?

Whatever you feel about her work as an artist, this is about human rights being violated.

As you can see from the image on the right-hand side, behind the makeup and Photoshop, Sahar Tabar is an ordinary-looking girl. The Iranian media is using her photos of artistic expression to vilify her in the media, in an attempt to alienate anyone from supporting her.


Tabar remains in police custody and the authorities have made no indication as to whether she will be free anytime soon. We cannot ignore the repeated oppression of women by the Islamic State of Iran. Continue scrolling to learn about how Joss Stone was booted out of Iran earlier this year...