At first glance, browsing through Instagram photos, you’d not think much of it: selfies, house parties, luxury European cars, attractive guys and girls dressed to the nines. With a closer look, you might notice the occasional headscarf and the script on the license plates of cars. At that point you would probably assume you’re looking at a collection of photos belonging to the wealthy in a Gulf country in the Middle East — the United Arab Emirates, perhaps? You’ve got the region right, but ethnically, you’re not even close. Far to the east and across the Persian Gulf it lies: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
You’re browsing the Instagram account documenting the lives of the sons and daughters of an elite class of Iranians, Tehran’s one-percenters. They live in a country that until recently was stereotyped in the media as a place ruled by mullahs and populated by Muslim extremists, where women don black chadors and people chant "Death to America" 365 days a year. The list of stereotypes was never-ending until stories of sex, drugs and alcohol among the country’s elite came to light — some now call it the “Erotic Republic” of Iran.