This International Women’s Day, we are shining the spotlight and paying tribute to the strength of Iranian-American women. #TooDBeauty celebrates these resilient individuals in our lives who must navigate a complex relationship with beauty while witnessing human rights violations STILL HAPPENING in Iran.
Our latest campaign sheds light on this experience through an exclusive conversation between art curator Nazy Nazhand, artist Sheree Hovsepian and our founder Sharareh Siadat — lifelong friends sharing powerful perspectives from behind closed doors.
Unfortunately, women in Iran are not allowed to express themselves through their appearance in the same way that we can. They cannot wear their hair how they want or dress how they want; cannot experiment with makeup or accessories.
For Shari, this struggle hits close to home as she was bullied over her unibrow and felt embarrassed about her Iranian heritage for many years. She grew her hair back, but couldn't understand why she would want to erase any aspect of her culture.
It's disheartening that beauty brands still don't feature Iranian women in their campaigns despite their unique and diverse beauty. We hope that by sharing these stories, we can raise awareness about the struggles of Iranian women and inspire change towards a more inclusive industry. Happy International Women's Day! #FreeIran
Here are some excerpts from the conversation between Nazy, Sheree and Sharareh
“I am very happy with my Persian genes. I am very happy of all the hair that I have. I am aware of what a political and vicious statement hair can be... I do remember when I was in Iran as a child, wanting to run around and be a kid. At that age already, when your priority should be to be a care free child, you were essentially told to restrict yourself, to cover yourself, or that there was something about your very existence that is, I don’t know, illegal or cause for punishment. So I’m very happy and very proud, I wouldn’t change it in any way." @nazynazhand
“With the recent news out of Iran over the past 5 months, the mixed feelings of being a first generation Iranian-American and having the opportunity to be free to be as I am dovetails against the tragedy that’s happening in Iran. The internal tension has been stirring over being gifted this opportunity to express myself fully while my sisters and brother are dying over basic human rights.” @sharisiadat
How has your Iranian culture inspired the way you express yourself through beauty?
"The weight put on those situations and feeling that you have to be dressed and presentable when entertaining was part of the culture. That is how I started to think about fashion and the way I wanted to look and present myself in front of other people." @shereehovsepian
If you could, what would you go back and tell your younger self?
"Everything will be ok. Whatever this path has been, whether you wanted it or not, whatever circumstances that may have been thrown at you, it's the path, and it's ok. Not everyone has one way of life. It's all for a reason and it's ok. It's all going to work out in the end." @nazynazhand
"Difference is beautiful, in the future you will realize that. Also, leave your eyebrows alone." @shereehovsepian