Sahar Tabar made all the headlines last winter after a Belgian website called Suds Info reported that she’d undergone more than 50 plastic surgery procedures to look like a zombified version of Angelina Jolie.
The 20-year-old Iranian woman swiftly became a social media sensation after people discovered her Instagram account, where she regularly posts photos of her corpse-like appearance.
Sahar later fessed up to doctoring the photos of herself, explaining that while she has had a nose job, lip fillers, and liposuction, she used a combination of Photoshop, advanced makeup techniques, and prosthetics to exaggerate her features for social media. She also asserted that her goal was never to emulate the Oscar-winning actress; rather, her look was just a form of self-expression.
Earlier this month, Sahar took to Instagram to share side-by-side photos of her real face, sans makeup or editing, for the first time ever…
Sahar Tabar began posting photos of her dramatic looks on Instagram about a year ago. Her current account has amassed more than 72,000 followers.
Last year, media outlets began reporting that the Instagram personality had undergone more than 50 plastic surgery procedures to achieve the ghoulish look she’s known for.
Many of the publications drew comparisons between Sahar and Angelina Jolie, assuming she was trying to look like the Tomb Raider actress.
Others speculated that Sahar was trying to look like the main character from the animated Tim Burton movie Corpse Bride, of which she is a fan.
Many of Sahar's followers had suspected from the very beginning that she'd been doctoring her photos.
Comments on her pictures will often point out the images’ distorted backgrounds, a tell-tale sign that they’ve been Photoshopped.
Sahar once took to Instagram to poke fun at those who didn’t realize she’d been editing her pictures, but later deleted her post.
“I thought these people are probably living in the 18th century and they haven’t seen or heard of technology or makeup and they are really surprised,” she had captioned the November 2017 post.
Despite that note (and the fact that she’s posted photos of her actual face on her account several times), many people have continued to believe that Sahar looks like this in real life. Some think she has an undiagnosed mental illness; others are convinced that her parents abandoned her.
After the rumors got totally out of hand, Sahar did an interview with the Russian media outlet Sputnik in December, where she discussed the misconceptions about her makeup artistry and her true identity.
“This is Photoshop and makeup,” she said, denying the accusations that she’d undergone dozens of plastic surgery procedures. “Every time I publish a photo, I paint my face in an increasingly funny way. It is a way of expressing yourself, a kind of art. My fans know that this is not my real face.”
She tries not to dwell on the negative feedback her photos often receive: “For me the most important thing in life is the approval of my family and God,” Sahar continued. “This approval is, that’s enough for me. The opinion of other people does not bother me at all. I release negative opinions.”
On July 5, Sahar shared a side-by-side photo of her real face for the first time ever.
“Im so sexy and i know it 😆👅👿🤟🏻🤘🏻🇮🇷 #angelinajolie” she cheekily captioned the image.
Two days later, she shared another.
“Yes im angelina jolie 👻” she captioned the second picture, having a little fun with her haters.
At this point, many of Sahar’s fans feel like they’re in on her joke. They believe that as long as the changes she makes to her appearance are the result of Photoshop and makeup, not surgery, she has creative liberty to do whatever she pleases.
Some fans do occasionally express concern about whether the totality of this is something that’s good for Sahar.
Others who aren’t as familiar with Sahar’s antics just can’t wrap their heads around why anyone would go out of their way to look like this.
Whether you appreciate Sahar’s photos or not, her story raises some interesting questions — namely, where should one draw the line when it comes to creativity?