NSFW. British porn star Candy Charms paid a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran for plastic surgery and all hell broke loose. Holly Dagres discovers what actually happened.
Need a nose job? Lebanon seems like the obvious choice. The destination for many in the Middle East, but it’s come in second for new noses. Iran is not only the Mecca of the Middle East for rhinoplasty, but the world — with seven times more surgical procedures per capita than the United States. This also explains why a British porn star ended up in the country. Twenty-seven year old Candy Charms — known for her size 32LL breasts — meant well when she posted on Instagram about a recent trip to Tehran. Sporting Porsche aviator sunglasses and a black headscarf wrapped around her head, Candy Charms wrote:
“Hey guys I have been on holiday in Iran. I only told my very close friends and family, as social networks and Twitter are banned so was hard to communicate but im (sic) back now (cat heart eyes) loved Tehran the people are so kind, and generous really overwhelmed by the whole trip the people are amazing, even when people don’t have much they will do anything for you really puts your own life in perspective. This trip wouldn’t of been possible without my lovely friend @essexbunny helping me with my visa and everything! (hearts)…”
The Instagram post received well over 7,000 likes and 25,000 comments in a matter of hours, but was removed shortly after it was online. When news broke of the porn star’s visit, many Iranians commented on social media with hashtags #candy_charms and #candycharms. One Iranian Twitter user posted in reference to the new Pokémon Go app, “Tomorrow the nation will stop looking for Pokémon and instead look for Candy Charms.” Another joked, “Intelligent filtering means this: They filter her films, but they bring her instead.” While a different user raised an important point, “Which hejabi can hide breasts this size from the morality police’s sight?” Some users also posted offensive comments in English and Persian.
Candy Charms explained to me, “I literally had a short holiday - I'm not sure what all the attention is over?”
An innocent mistake
Less than a day after the porn star told the world about her friendly Iran trip, the account was deleted. “I had hundreds of people trying to hack my account from Iran so I'm in talks with Instagram to protect my account so I will have it back next week,” said Candy Charms.
The porn star then added how she has many Iranian friends inside the country, emphasising numerous friends have also visited Iran. While Candy Charms was only in Tehran for a few days with a tour guide, she did as a matter of fact speak to some plastic surgeons.
According to Candy Charms, “It's very common for models to visit Iran for surgery especially facial as they do it the best.” Interestingly, a popular look for women in Iran is described as the “porn star look”— arched eyebrows, upturned noses, and voluptuous lips with dramatic makeup that accentuates facial features.
While Iran ranks in the top four in the world for online pornography searches — despite government censorship — the fascination with Candy Charms wasn’t due to her status as an adult entertainer. Most Iranians wondered how a porn star was granted a visa to the Islamic Republic of Iran — a country that lashes its citizens for possession of pornography and imprisons those who participate in it. In 2008, Iranian-Canadian Saeed Malekpour was arrested and then sentenced to death for running a pornography site — only to later have it repealed.
Clearly Candy Charms slipped under Iranian government officials’ radar. In a way, it’s not surprising given the way she carries herself. Some might say Candy Charms practically fit into some of the north Tehran crowd. Still, a lot of Iranians expressed concern online that hardliners would use this incident as an example of “western infiltration” that is out to destroy the Islamic Republic.
However, this wouldn’t be the first time Iran was mired in controversy over adult entertainment. In 2013, Iranian state English-language network Press TV hired Edwina Storie as their Australia correspondent with no prior knowledge of her previous life as an erotic glamour model. Storie’s background came to light when Vexnews released nude photos “in retaliation for her anti-Zionist report” about a BDS controversy that took place at Sydney University. She planned to sue Vexnews for breach of privacy, but has since retracted her claims. Storie left Press TV in 2014.
Candy Charms believes detractors should keep their noses out of other peoples’ business. “I loved the people and it's a shame that it has had such a negative effect as I would have liked to return!”