Throughout history, people have come up with the most creative ways to defy outrageous laws in their countries. There are those that stand in unison, blocking major highways and causing a public fuss. There are those that paint messages on walls, forcing everyone’s attention. There are those that record themselves rebelling, and upload it on public networks for the world to see. And then there are those that dance their hearts out on subway trains.
Yup. An unidentified woman revolted against Iranian conservative laws by dancing on public transportation, in Iran, to a very particular song. So what, right? Wrong. In a 68 second video of intense movement to the song Salute by Little Mix, this lady broke 2 Iranian laws when her scarf fell off her head: dancing, and being without a headscarf in public. The entire idea behind her public display is simple, but moving.
Her dancing is likely in response to the severe punishment given to a group of young Iranians, who uploaded a video of their music video rendition to “Happy” by Pharrell. It’s easy for us to sit at home and gasp at the intensity of the situation. Maybe even start a petition. It’s a whole other story to publicly defy Iranian law, in Iran, and then broadcast it to the world.
There is a clear message in the intensity of her movement: she owns her body. The hijab that continues to fly off her head is simply a piece of cloth. It wavers with movement. It falls with motion. And she pulls it back up over her head almost every time, because she’s in control of the situation. She wants everyone to know. She is fighting against the controlling regime. She is taking initiative. And she is having fun doing it.
Iranian women are almost never portrayed in the light of activism and liberty. This young woman, who remains anonymous, is rebelling against her government. And she wants everyone to know she isn’t afraid to do so.
To quote “Salute” by Little Mix, the background music to this woman’s public defiance, and another clear message she screams through her erratic, passionate dance:
Ladies all across the world
Listen up, we’re looking for recruits
If you’re with me, let me see your hands
Stand up and salute