From a vibrant, cultured and beautiful country, to a restricting and oppressive rule, Iran’s drastic changes make it hard to believe it was once a paradise. The people who visited Iran before the revolution may have thought the country was headed in a western direction. However, within a short period of time, it all changed for the worse.
Before the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran looked a whole lot different than it does today. It was run by the Shah whose dictatorship-styled ruling restricted political freedoms but at the same time encouraged Iranians to take on a bit of secular modernization. So there was room for a bit of cultural influence. Today the country and the people are completely unrecognizable.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Woman Protest for Their Rights
Before Iran implemented new strict rules, the women went out on the streets to protest. People knew a big change was coming and did all they could to try and secure their rights and freedoms.
These women bravely stood up for themselves and voiced their opinion. Back then, Iran was a place for political expression, even if these expressions were controversial.
After the Islamic Revolution: Woman Protest in Favor of Strict Rule
Although there are Iranian women who do favor these new laws, there are also women who want their freedom to choose. With these many women showing favor for the rules, it looks like most citizens enjoy the laws of the revolution.
Despite this, several reporters found that Iran paid many women to protest in favor of the changes. It’s not clear if this is a rumor or if the Iranian government actually does this.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Family Time at the Beach
Before the Islamic Revolution, Iranians went to the beach dressed for the intense heat. Women wore bathing suits, shorts, and all other light clothing suitable for the beach.
This family got together in a carefree way to spend some quality time soaking up Iran’s beauty.
After the Islamic Revolution: Family Time at the Beach
The Iran we know today has a completely different view at the beach. Women cover up from head to toe. Some even choose to cover their faces. Even the men are covering more. These women covered themselves in an extreme manner.
As you can see, there are women who simply wear long clothing and a headscarf. Clearly, there is a level of choice as to how much you can cover.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Toopkhaneh Square, The Main Square in Tehran
Toopkhaneh Square is an important town square in the south-central region of the city of Teheran. Before the Islamic revolution, the Toopkhaneh Square was packed with people and tourists.
Its architecture attracted loads of attention and brightened up this section of Teheran.
After the Islamic Revolution: Toopkhaneh Square
After the Islamic Revolution, the Toopkhaneh Square was renamed as Imam Khomeini Square. This square’s latest addition, a huge missile, creates a less favorable environment.
This oversized missile prop is a reminder of a stern and powerful rule over people. Regrettably, the architectural beauty of the plaza was bulldozed and leveled.
Official Uniforms Drastically Changed
Post-Islamic revolution laws and commands created a vast change in the way women dress. These rules even influenced the way women dress in a professional setting.
The nursing uniform is a key illustration of how the revolution influenced the everyday lives of working Iranian civilians. Now, nurses are expected to cover their heads with a headscarf.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Iran Opened Doors to American Leaders
Before the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian leaders were much more open to meeting people from around the world.
Despite differing views of the Americans and Iranians, the Shah family met with John F. Kennedy. The two leaders shook hands in front of reporters. Today this is a highly unlikely situation.
After the Islamic Revolution: Iran Calls the US Satan
After the Islamic Revolution, Iranian hostility towards the Western world skyrocketed. The hatred is so widespread that both young and old men stand around an American flag to watch it burn.
They call the United States the “Great Satan.”
The Mandatory Hijab Hides Women
Headscarves are obligatory for Iranian women. Many Iranian females state that they are happy and proud to wear their headscarves. The Hijab is a part of their religion and for those who want to practice this religious act, the Hijab rule is not so severe.
However, Iran is home to many citizens that do not want to wear a headscarf. Many women who want to wear the Hijab are upset that it’s not their choice to do so.
Post Islamic Revolution; Iranian women face two years in jail for removing their headscarf in public.
After the Islamic Revolution: Six Women Are Arrested for Teaching Zumba Classes
Zumba is amongst the list of actions that are banned in Iran. Zumba is a form of dance that also is a great form of training. Women all over the world partake in a Zumba class to increase their heart rates and dance to fun music.
Iran ordered a ban on this form of dancing and arrested six Zumba instructors.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Tourists Swim in Iran’s Top Vacation Spot
Flying to Iran for a family vacation was not as taboo once as it is today. Iran has multiple wonderful vacation spots that are perfect for unwinding and enjoying.
This hotel stands amidst a blue sky and gorgeous landscape. Tourists stayed here and hung out by the pool without any second thoughts.
After the Islamic Revolution: Iran’s Hottest Vacation Spot Deserted
After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, tourism decreased dramatically. The new dress code and bans have been unappealing to tourists who want to find a place to relax.
Not only are there no people inside this pool, but it’s also entirely emptied. Today the pool itself stands as a reminder of what once was.
After the Islamic Revolution: Women Are Forbidden To Play Billiards
Women once were able to play billiards professionally in Iran. In 2017 a team of women was banned from playing pool, or billiards at any competitions for an entire year.
The purpose of this ban was to make an example out of them. Apparently, they violated Islamic dress codes when they played in a public competition.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Women’s Vibrant Fashion Trends
Before the Islamic Revolution, women had modern haircuts and rocked vibrant clothing. They had the freedom to chose what they wanted to wear, even if it was a mini skirt.
Looking at this picture now, it cannot be denied that Iran went through some drastic changes after the Islamic Revolution took place in terms of women’s clothing.
After the Islamic Revolution: Women’s Restricting Dress Codes
The Islamic Revolution imposed strict dress code laws. Women are instructed to dress modestly by covering up their bodies and their hair.
Before these rules were implemented, Iranian women actually rocked modern clothing styles. Today women face two years in prison if they don’t wear a headscarf in public.
A Sunny Day Before & After the Islamic Revolution
Sunny days were a lot more tolerable before the Islamic Revolution. Iran is a country with an extremely hot climate. The new regulations that require women to cover up make enjoying a hot summer day a lot more complex than it used to be. Women found a way to cool down at the beach.
This dress on the right is actually a bathing suit that covers the whole body. For the women who want to cover up, this is a great discovery. However, the women who want to wear a bikini and sunbathe don’t have a choice but to cover in clothing.
The Same Woman Poses Before & After the Islamic Revolution
An Iranian woman posted a picture of herself before and after the Islamic Revolution. Before she wore pants and showed off her beautiful hair. Her clothes were vibrant and seem to have had a touch of her own style.
The photo on the right side shows just how much the new rules changed the individual lives of Iranian civilians.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Men & Women Share the School Bench
Before the Islamic Revolution, women and men shared the same classroom. Here you see both men and women sitting side-by-side in class at the University of Teheran.
Today, the classroom looks a whole lot different.
After the Islamic Revolution: Classes are Separated by Gender
After the Islamic revolution, institutions were directed to make changes in their classrooms.
Apart from the government approved curriculum, males and females are separated into different classrooms. Mixing genders in an educational environment is not an option in Iran.
Before the Islamic Revolution: An Iranian Leader & His Wife
Before the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the leaders dressed freely and fashionable. Of course, these leaders remained modest in the sense of coverage, but they also were not shy to get a bit flashy and stylish.
An Iranian leader with his wife shows off her hair and rocks beautifully diamond- studded earrings.
After the Islamic Revolution: The Iranian Leader & His Wife
This recent Iranian leader’s wife seems a whole lot different from those of the past. She hides her body from head to toe. The previous leader’s wife wore makeup and jewels.
This wife doesn’t have an ounce of makeup on and doesn’t express a personal sense of style at all.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Women Dressed Brightly for Nursing School Graduation
Before the Islamic Revolution, nurses wore brilliant yellow uniforms. Their hats sat perfectly on their hair, and their dresses rose higher than their knees.
Some wore stockings, and others had their legs bare. Women who wanted to cover up more could do so, and the same right went for women who wanted to dress down.
After the Islamic Revolution: Women Graduate from Nursing School
After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, nursing classmates had to switch up their uniform. This class of graduating nurses is covered up in dark colors. This time around, women don’t have a choice.
They have to wear long sleeves, long dress, and of course, a headscarf. Women who want to cover up are more than welcome to do so. Women who want to dress down are forbidden.
Protesting Dress Codes
The contrast in this photo is remarkable. The women on the left protested against Iran’s changes while the woman on the right protest in favor of these changes.
Although these are both pictures of Iranian women, it looks as if they came from entirely different worlds.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Models Flaunted Their Beauty On Magazines
Publications and the media before the Islamic Revolution showed edgy and contemporary trends. These models are not posing in a way that would surprise westernized countries at all.
If this photo reached the cover of an Iranian magazine today, Most people would be shocked. It’s simply not something you see in Iran today.
After the Islamic Revolution: Women Cover Up for the Press
Post Islamic Revolution laws profoundly impact the way Iranians see the world.
Advertisements in magazines and newspapers hardly ever feature women or men dressed immodestly according to the strict Islamic Code.
After the Islamic Revolution: Underground Parties Are Raided & Broken Up
Post Islamic Revolution changes lead to massive amounts of parties being banned. Not all Iranian citizens are willing to give up a fun nightlife. Underground parties started gaining popularity.
Once Iranian authorities caught word of these violations, they discovered and raided multiple underground party spots. All alcohol was confiscated.
Before the Islamic Revolution: A Family Day In the Pool
Families went swimming in their bathing suits before the Islamic Revolution.
Both men and women cooled off in the same swimming pool as they enjoyed Iran’s charm.
After the Islamic Revolution: A Family Day By the Pool
After the Islamic Revolution happened, men and women are covered at all times. In this picture, you’ll see a family cooling off in the best way they can, given their restrictions.
Today, they can’t casually cannon-ball into a pool together. There is no chance of playing Marco, Polo!
Before the Islamic Revolution: Teenagers in Tehran
Before the Islamic Revolution, Iranian teens looked just like American teens. They rocked long hair, black eye-liner, trendy crops and, bright patterns.
They looked rebellious and chic all the same time.
After the Islamic Revolution: Teenagers in Tehran
Teenage free-time in Iran took on a different path. Some teens are required to learn how to defend Islamic code. Here we see teenage boys dressed as women practicing to shoot.
There is no drama club or sports team to join as there is in America.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Female Singers Were Allowed to Perform on Stage
Women are not permitted to sing in public and especially not in front of a crowd. Concerts are often raided and shut down by Iranian authorities.
Many Iranian artists were devastated when they were told to give up their careers. Today women secretly create their own music but they still cannot perform in front of an audience.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Iran Had a Popping Night Life
Men and women danced together at events in Iran. Today parties are banned as well as dancing, especially for females.
This photo of Iranian men and women dancing together displays the end of a free era in Iran.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Men Could be around Women in Hair Salons
Here is a snapshot you wouldn’t expect to see in modern-day Iran. As you can see from this picture taken in 1977 Tehran, men and women are able to mix freely in a place as public as the hair salon.
What’s interesting about this photo is that, despite a man being in their presence, the female hairdressers are leaving their hair to be out and exposed, even styled in glamorous updos.
After the Islamic Revolution: Genders Had to Be Seperated in Hair Salons
Public places in Iran today could not be more different. It is no coincidence that there are only women in this modern photograph from an Iranian salon – there was no mixing of men and women in these sorts of places.
The freedom for women to showcase their hair is far more prohibited today, too. While the women in the 1977 image don’t seem too concerned who sees them, in today’s society, Iranians would make sure their hair gets completely covered before stepping out of the salon.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Women Could Attend Sporting Events
The years prior to the Islamic Revolution were fairly normal for the typical Iranian woman. If you wished you cheer on your favorite team at a soccer match, you were free to.
The Iranian women were allowed the right to cheer alongside men while watching the game play out. Despite this, things started to change on this front after the Revolution.
After the Islamic Revolution: Women Are Not Allowed to Attend Sporting Events
Some of you may be surprised to learn that over the years, Iranian officials didn’t just set stricter enforcement on separating women and men from sporting events, but most places do not want women there at all.
It is not uncommon today for an Iranian woman to be refused entry, after trying to get into a soccer match. This trend is part of a rule that, since it began in 1980, has sparked up several protests on behalf of outraged Iranian women.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Young People Grew Up as Normal
One big change you’ll notice from the pre-Revolution days to the post-Revolution days in Iran is the population. Back in the 1970s, young people were keen to follow their ancestors, in going forth and multiplying.
In 1977, 44.5% of people living in Iran were under 25. Something important to note was that these people were able to start families without much concern. Today, several factors make this a slightly more complex task.
After the Islamic Revolution: Less and Less Young People Are Procreating
Due to the rising unemployment rates in modern-day Iran, fewer youngsters are in a position to start a family. What does this mean? Much less young people are roaming the streets, leading to a prediction of the average age of Iranians to rise from 27 to 40 by the year 2030.
The sudden population drop has caused wide-scale panic. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has attempted to keep the figures rising by encouraging more women to have children. If this plan fails and these statistics continue to lessen, the economy faces a further threat – poverty has never looked like a more likely future for the people of Iran.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Women Could Work in the Labor Force
During his reign and before the Islamic Revolution, the Shah’s intentions were simple: to Westernize Iran. One of the ways he did this was to make women’s lives more equal to men’s.
Before 1977, women were well aware of the Family Protection Act. This allowed women to “divorce on the same grounds as men” if they were unhappy in their marriage, the rights to abortion and even increase their participation in the labor force.
After the Islamic Revolution: Women Working in the Labor Force was Reduced
Quicker than you can even say the word ‘power’ the new ruler altered and voided a series of rules that were once in place in Iran. One, in particular, he was keen to get rid of, was the Family Protection Act.
So, what does this mean? Ever since the Revolution took place, Iranian women have experienced much more restricted opportunities. You’d certainly see a lot less Iranian women working in the labor forces today than all those years ago. It’s simply not the accepted thing anymore.
Before the Islamic Revolution: Women Couldn’t Marry Until They Were Adults
As part of his Family Protection Act, the Shah made an essential rule regarding women’s marriage: they could not tie the knot with someone until they were eighteen-years-old. This number rose from the previous age limit, at fifteen-years-old.
Why enforce this rule? The Shah wanted women to have autonomy over their lives, and not to be forced into an arranged marriage before they’ve even experienced much of their life.
After the Islamic Revolution: Women Could Marry During Childhood
Straight after the Shah came out of power, the new ruler was quick to undo everything they had enforced. Another one of his changes was the legal marriage age which went down to just eight-years-old.
Can you imagine that? Before they even get the opportunity to turn double figures, Iranian women in today’s society could find themselves walking down the aisle. That’s a scarily accurate representation of how religion-focused the country became after the Revolution. Despite many bills coming forward to ban child weddings, none of yet have gained approval.