Modern day internet does not like to keep quiet. Every now and then, it needs something to go viral, be it a long forgotten issue or an illegal jailing from the past decade to protest against. And sometimes, it doesn’t even care if the thing that’s going viral is true in its essence or not, it just does its thing.
Over the past few weeks, the internet has been freaking out over the “Iranian girl who went through fifty surgeries to look like her idol Angelina Jolie”. Let’s now talk about this being one of the most widely spread lies on the internet.
The girl under question, Sahar Tabar, is criticised for distorting her facial features to copy that of Angelina Jolie, by putting herself through several surgeries, which unfortunately went wrong and destroyed her facial expressions. However, less truth is present in these criticisms.
Tabar, a 19-year-old Tehrani girl, lives in a city where facial surgeries are quite common among the elite group of citizens. She did get a few facial surgeries (about two or three, NOT FIFTY) but did not do it to copy an American actress. The high chance is that, due to the American culture and cinema fandom being near to non-existent in Iran, the girl might not even know Jolie.
English isn’t a widely spoken language in Iran. In fact, only about 10 to 15 percent of all Iranians actually speak or understand English, which is why it’s safe to say that most of the information that the mainstream English media agencies are providing isn’t even accurate or coming from Iran or Tabar herself. Mainstream media is also quoting her about her fandom for Jolie, but without any presence of truth in it. The girl is receiving hatred on the internet in a language she doesn’t understand. (I am able to say this because I understand the Persian language, and have gone through blogs written in Persian, by the people who surround Tabar in person.)
Sahar Tabar, like the usual ladies of her class, got facial beauty surgery and took the internet by storm when she uploaded a picture of herself on her Instagram account (which is now taken down) that was taken wearing prosthetics, make-up and Photoshopped to somewhat look like The Corpse Bride. It was then that the whole internet got crazy and without any research, trashed her for ‘trying to look like a celebrity and ending up looking a total disaster.’
The Iranian blogger community and news agency have said only a little about the girl. Individual bloggers and news agencies all over the world, however, without having much sources, blindly propagated the false news, resulting in the girl receiving more and more hatred on the internet.
Tabar has, on her Instagram live and otherwise, many times spoken about how she has received a lot of hate and verbal abuse just for having a surgery and posting digitally manipulated photos of herself [which were actually mistaken for a surgery gone wrong mainly due to the language gap]. Her comments section had become filled with hate just before her account was taken down.
So this is the actuality of the world of internet. Here, “fake news” and individual opinions get more and more spotlight, and if something interesting forms the headlines, no one bothers to research about it or even once check if the information they’re being provided is true before pressing that ‘share’ button.