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Kabul Makeover

Author: Kim Barker, Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow
February 9, 2010
Atlantic Monthly


Anita Khalwat wears heavy makeup, fake eyelashes, and a green spangly head scarf, loose dress, and pants fit for an Afghan wedding. But she's no bride. She's a warrior in heels and metallic nail polish, preparing to appear on Afghan Model, a new TV show that aims to find the top fashion star in a war-torn nation where neither of the two main languages has a word for "model," and where threats by the TV-hating, women-loathing Taliban have turned an appearance before the cameras on a rickety, rainbow-lit white stage into a political statement.

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