There is a sense of social reform sweeping the Young Iranian culture these days. Once required to completely cover their faces, young women are
revealing more and more. Young men are growing their hair out without fear of the "religious vigilantes" publicly chopping it off as an example of
anti western influence. The traditional headscarves are being reduced to a minimal head covering. Even the noses of the young Iranians are getting
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Surgically designed noses are a "must have" and the religious headscarf has been reduced to the flimsiest of coverings, barely
hiding the highlighted hair of the young women in the Iranian capital's trendy coffee shops.
Young men in the Islamic Republic can wear their hair long with little fear that the Basij religious vigilantes will barge in and forcibly hack off
this symbol of "Western" fashion.
But some of Iran's well-heeled young fear such modest freedoms may be dulling opposition among their peers to the Islamic Republic's system and taking
their mind off demands for deeper political reforms.
Some fear a clampdown after Friday's presidential elections.
"The youth was pushing for freedoms, but the kind of freedoms they (the authorities) gave are not real freedom ... The youth doesn't realize this is
happening," said 26-year-old Azadeh, who like many of her friends has had her nose reshaped.
"The face is the only thing Iranian girls can show," she explained as she sat with her boyfriend in a dark corner of a cafe, a liaison that would have
been stopped a few years ago.
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Since President Mohammad Khatami came to power eight years ago, the young Iranian culture has enjoyed a severely less oppressed way of life, and
according to a young woman named Pegah, they are not looking forward to letting that go with the current elections.
"I didn't plan to cast a vote, but then I realize that someone like Qalibaf could become president, and things will get even worse," said 25-year-old
Pegah. "I don't want clerics ruling the country. They should be preaching in the mosques."