It’s not a game of spot the difference, though it would be an easy one to figure out if it were.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was given a quick makeover by Iranian media on Monday, during her appearance at the Oscars.
Her shoulders and chest area were covered up by a speedy photoshop snip of her Oscars dress while she appeared at the ceremony via a video link from the White House to announce that Iranian hostage thriller “Argo” had won best picture.
The Iranian audience watching the live broadcast was shown the “Iranian redesign” of Michelle’s dress, with the censor made to conform to the country’s restrictions on images of the female body in the media.
Fars, which is affiliated to the Islamic republic's elite Revolutionary Guards, changed the U.S. first lady's dress to stand by rules stipulating that Iranian women shown on Iran's state television should have a hijab that covers their hair, arms and legs.
“The length of the censor's ruler varies for foreigners. A foreign woman travelling inside the Islamic republic should comply with the same restriction on Iranian women, but those shown on TV, such as dignitaries or actors, are tolerated without the hijab, up to a point. Men enjoy relatively more freedom, but only sportsmen are allowed to be shown with bare legs on TV,” the Guardian reported on Monday.
“When Iranian media are obliged to use a picture that contravenes these rules, it is not unusual for Photoshop to come to their rescue,” the report added, noting that the EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton has also fallen victim to similar Photoshop redesigning on Iranian television.
Meanwhile, Iran's state television was quick to dismiss Argo as an "advertisement for the CIA" and some Iranians called the award a political statement by America for its unflattering portrayal of the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
State television also said Michelle’s involvement "increases speculation that awarding this movie was politically motivated."
Argo has not appeared in any Iranian cinema.