This story about an Iranian teen who underwent 50 surgeries to look like Angelina Jolie is just the perfect X-ray of the state of contemporary journalism and popular culture.
Sahar Tabar, a 19-year-old teen from Tehran – some media outlets claim she is 22, others that she is 17 – allegedly underwent through 50 surgeries in the span of just “a few months” and endured a rigorous diet to stay at a weight of 40kgs, all this in a quest to look like her biggest idol, Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie.
Since this story went viral last week, people all over the world have been scratching their heads in disbelief over the nightmarish images coming from her social media accounts. We’ve certainly seen radical transformations before, but Tabar’s case is so out there, it has prompted wide speculation over the credibility of the whole affair.
The girl looks more like a very malnourished zombie than anything else, and she even sports blue contact lenses in some of her pics for extra “bling” effect.
Right now there are several Instagram accounts under Tabar’s name, all of them with quite large followings that range from 2,000 to 75 thousand followers.
At this point, her story has several versions and her name has already circled around the globe in multiple media outlets and forums including Reddit.
Curiously, none of the pieces about the Iranian cosmetic surgery sensation have links to actual quotes from her or reference to any official statement.
People on social media have reacted with furious outrage at her transformation, while others have taken the opportunity to crack some jokes at her expense.
One commenter wrote on Instagram, “Her: Doc make me look like an 8-month-old corpse. Doc: Say no more.”
Stark differences between the skin color of her face and the rest of her body, slight changes between pics in the size of her lips, plus obvious variations in the angle of her nose and cheekbones have prompted many people to believe the girl, far from being a mentally disturbed person is actually a highly skilled and dedicated internet troll.
Now to make matters even more confusing, today, Ria Novosti, Russia’s state-sponsored international news agency is featuring a supposedly “real” interview with Sahar, in which she claims her whole ghoulish look is just the result of good Photoshopping and skillful makeup.
In the piece, – which at the time of writing is only available in Russian – the Iranian teen claims she never said anything about wanting to look like Angelina Jolie, and she doesn’t have a clue of where the rumour of the 50 surgeries came from.
“Of course not. [referring to the surgeries] This is Photoshop and makeup. Every time I post a photo, I make my face all the funnier and funnier. It is such a way of self-expression, a kind of art. My fans know that this is not my real face.” said Tabar.
She does confirm she got a nose job, pumped up her lips, and had a liposuction. But nothing remotely close to the claims published by the media.
“I do not see anything terrible in operations: many people are doing this kind of procedure on the planet. Here, in Tehran, one operation costs 10 million Iranian rials”
The article also points out at Tabar’s official Instagram page which, hey wait, that’s about $300 US! This girl got plastic surgery for $300 bucks!??
Anyway. What do you think about all this mess? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.