or Delkash? Gina or Sophia?
This issue was so serious that if anyone liked
both, would never admit it openly for the fear
that they would be perceived as an outsider (which seems to be
a swear word for some Iranians)
August 27, 2005
When I was a little girl I was initially puzzled by the way people
(in Iran) had to choose between two artists.
I gradually learned
that this had something to do with the social background of the
fans. For instance Marzieh could only be liked
by posh people and Delkash by worker-class and the socialists.
case of Gina or Sophia (Lolobrigida and Loren) it had to do more
with sexuality: women liked Gina and Sophia represented
a threat to their nejabat. And men liked Sophia, of
course, but would have been happy if they could have Gina as
of Elaheh and Pouran there
was an attempt to create a battle but it proved hopeless and was
given up soon. As Elaheh's
voice itself gave the verdict. As a result Pouranists gave up
and listened to Elaheh instead, without telling anyone about it.
were other examples as well like Vigen/Manuchehr and
I believe the last one I remember must have been Googoosh/Ramesh.
was so serious that if anyone liked both of those compared, would
never admit it openly for the fear that they
would be perceived as an outsider (which seems to be a swear
word for some Iranians).
I have experienced this phenomenon in
the UK only when it comes to pet lovers. Here it is very rare
to see a cat and a dog in the same household.
People here usually
either like cats OR dogs. And during a conversation about pets
if you say that you like both cats AND dogs, there
is usually a pause and depending on what kind of people you
are talking to, you either get ignored (by the more stupid) or
given extra attention (by the enlightened ones).
reason for this case may be that because the character of these
two animals are extremely different, people
subconsciously are likely to prefer the one which is more similar
to themselves or the partner they wish to have (the extremely
loyal dependent dog and the comfort-seeking independent and not
so loyal cat).
I have no idea if this kind of forced comparison
of two artists is still practiced in Iran. But I am getting the
something in that line might be brewing amongst the Iranians
living in the U.S.
Don't people know yet that this kind of
hype is usually planned by the artists' promoters/ agents in order
them in the news?
I would tend to finish by saying why bother,
let the artists do their own publicity battle. But I can't, because
the research on these issues has already shown that people usually
identify themselves with the celebrity
they like. And that the behaviour of that celebrity becomes an
outlet for their own frustrations in their ordinary daily life.
I will finish by suggesting the following exercise which may prove
-- Think about what is it about
that celebrity that you identify with?
-- Is there a similar situation in your life, perhaps
someone you have competed with before?
-- What qualities has the other artist
got (the "baddie") that you don't like?
-- Is there a person that
you know whom s/he reminds you of?
-- If you had a similar situation
how did you solve it/ how would you solve it now if you had a second
-- And when you have answered all those questions
already, then ask yourself: Is it really relevant to your life?
the answer is still yes, then you are either lonely or live with someone
you have nothing in common with.
Perhaps get together
with the other fans and open a fan club in order to socialize more with
people who share the same passion. Then of course you
and write one definitive letter making it clear where your fan club stands
on the issue and then no more of it.