If you like to sport trendy hairstyles and experiment with different hairdos, thank your stars that you were not born in North Korea. Infact, thank your folks for that!!!!
The “Hermit Kingdom”, it has now been revealed, lay down strict guidelines for dressing up and grooming way back in 2004-2005 as a part of the government’s strategy to beat capitalism and to promote socialism. In 2009, the government came out with 18 hairstyles for women as well.
The state has laid down 28 state approved hairstyles which all men and women must choose from to ‘ward off evil effects of capitalism’ and to make them more productive, as described by wantchinatimes.com, a leading Chinese news related website. Out of these, there are 18 hairstyles for women and 10 for men.
State Approved Hairstyles for Women
Women can have their pick from the 18 feathery looks which their government approves of.
As if that was not enough, there are separate sets of guidelines for married women and unmarried girls. Spinsters are allowed to leave their hair open and sport hairdos with longer hair. They are allowed more ‘fancy’ hairdos by allowing them to get away with ponytails, plaits, braids or even ribbon in their hair!
While married women have a ‘wider’ range of hairstyles to choose from, they are advised to keep their hairdos comfortable. They are asked to go for shorter hair since it is more manageable.
Owing to these guidelines, it is easy for a visitor to the state of North Korea to be able to make out the whether a particular female is married or not just by having a careful look at her hairdo!!!
Ri Chun-hee, a hugely popular news anchor for North Korean state run television, who is also known to be “extremely patriotic”, was seen changing her hairstyle twice within a short span of two weeks in 2011. While there are some who say that this (allowing the newscaster to change her hairstyle) was a part of state propaganda to improve its image, there are others who said that she did so because the young and ‘dynamic’ new leader, Kim, did not approve of her previous hairstyle!!
State Approved Hairstyles for Men
Men have 10 different hairstyles to choose from though here again, there are strict rules as regarding the length of hair they are allowed.
Younger men are forbidden from growing their hair beyond a length of 5 cm (or, 2 inches) because the North Korean government seems to be convinced that longer hair “drains nutrients away from the brain”. They also must visit a barber once every 15 days to make sure that their hair does not grow any longer than this!
Again, spiky hair is a strict no-no. While fancier hairdos like the Mohawk, Faux hawk and Mullet are simply out of question.
Older men, however, can grow their hair to a length of 7 cm (or, 2.8 inches).
No hairstyles have been laid down for babies and for balding men!
What continues to baffle us here is why the dictator Kim Jong-Un is not sporting one of the hairstyles listed by his regime himself??
He sports a half-buzz, half-mop which looks very western and not quite one of the 1980 inspired hairstyles he wants his fellow countrymen to have!!
After the rules had been laid down, the government was obliged to ensure that people observed them in full letter and spirit. TV crews with hidden cameras were deployed at several places in the country to spot the rebels who had the ‘audacity’ to defy the regulations. The erring individuals were named, and their age, address and profession were broadcast on National TV to act as a deterrent for those who were daring to think differently and to disgrace them.
How many of you subscribe to this viewpoint?
Do you think the government has a right to interfere in the way you or I dress up, the length of hair we want to maintain, the kind of attire we like to don or the shoes we like to wear?
Please do leave your views and opinions here-we love to hear from our readers.