Actress's Apparent Tattoo Causes Uproar in Iran

Is it real? She's not saying
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2016 10:41 AM CDT
Taraneh Alidoosti at Cannes last month.   (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

(Newser) – Iranian social media recently was consumed by two questions: Does Taraneh Alidoosti have a tattoo, and is she a feminist? To the latter, the 32-year-old "Natalie Portman of Iran" says via tweet, "Keep calm and YES I'm a feminist." But as for the tattoo, Alidoosti is not talking, the New York Times reports. It's a private matter, she says. The whole brouhaha was sparked by a photo taken last week during a press conference in Tehran at which Alidoosti was promoting her new film, The Salesman, New York magazine reports. As she reached for a microphone, Alidoosti revealed what appeared to be a tattoo of the "woman power" symbol on her left forearm. Reactions to the apparent tattoo ranged from support from Alidoosti's fans to accusations from conservatives that she supports abortion, a right that does not exist in Iran, Emirates 24/7 reports.

"Now that I think about it," read one supportive tweet, per the Times, "I have been feminist from the very beginning." But another Twitter user writes, "You are advertising foreigners." Another jokingly warned Alidoosti that she may end up in Tehran's Evin Prison. Calling Iran's women's rights movement "officially nonexistent," the Times notes that the label of feminist often carries negative connotations in the country, with hard-liners saying that feminism equates to a war against the family. Alidoosti, who the Times notes is married with a child, sought to explain her feminist stance in another tweet: "Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economical equality of the sexes." (Read more Iran stories.)

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