Iran: Nose Job Capital Of World

Iran's strict Islamic dress code has backfired in at least one big way.

Some young Iranian women are more obsessed with their appearance than their counterparts in the West.

And, as CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports, they're to improve on the look nature gave them with cosmetic surgery.

The most popular form of plastic surgery in America is liposuction, but in Iran, where the female form is kept largely under wraps, women prefer to spend their money where they can show it off.

So Iran, where the morality police used to confiscate eyeliner and lip gloss, is now the nose job capital of the world.

"A Western nose is more beautiful," says one young woman in Farsi.

At a medical center, where a group of women wait for their friend to come out of surgery, portraits of classical Iranian beauties hang on the wall. But the Persian nose, it seems, is out of style.

Inside the operating room, Dr. Hossein Heidar lifts and shortens.

"The hot look," he says, is inspired by Hollywood.

Women shopping for new noses, Heidar says, arrive with photos of Jennifer Lopez.

A picture perfect nose costs around $1,500.

Photographer Newsha Tavakolian is planning a book on Iranian women. The nose craze, she says, started with satellite TV from the West.

"Everyone saw how the Western women, they have very small nose and look almost like Barbie, and the Iranian women, they see them and they say, 'Oh, I want to look like them,'" says Tavakolian. "They want to make their nose small."

But it's not only women. There are lots of bandaged men on the streets too.

"Iranians in general have big noses and that's one of the reasons why this surgery is so popular," says Ali Bahrami in Farsi.

Bahrami insists he had the operation for medical purposes, but the before and after pictures tell a different story.

And best of all, Heidar says, all this nipping and tucking is not un-Islamic.

"Plastic surgery is better appearance for people, and I think God like this," he says.
  • Jaime Holguin

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