We all know that when the North Korean government advises its people to do something, they pretty much have no choice in the matter, unless they want to end up in some labor camp working on Kim Jong-un’s new death star. So in its latest attempt to remove itself from every aspect of normality, North Korea has released its own list of ‘state-approved’ hairstyles and placed them in hair salons across the country. I can only assume that these will be written into law and anyone caught rocking a Mohawk or looking like the lovely lady below will no doubt be kidnapped and given a good ‘talking to’, either that or they will be individually blown up using North Korea’s new missiles that they’ve been working on as we recently reported. Mohawks, fohawks, braids, dreadlocks, skinheads, quiffs, pig tails, pony tails and pretty much anything resembling a normal person’s hairstyle are effectively being banned and replaced by a list of hideous hairdos that look like they’ve come straight out of the 1950s.
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So what is the official reason for bringing out a list of state-approved hairstyles? Well, it appears the North Korean government wants to stamp out any capitalist western fashion influences, hence you won’t see Kim Jong-un sporting a mullet or a red punk Mohawk – oh how amusing that would be. Woman are now given a choice between 18 hairdos that pretty much all resemble something your grandparents would have probably been quite proud of back in their day. They are also encouraged to have certain styles based on whether or not they’re married, presumably to make them less attractive to any potential pimps and players. Married woman tend to be frowned upon if they’re not sporting a shorter, more reserved mop, whereas unmarried woman are allowed to ‘let their hair down’ a little and even wear ribbons and flowers if they’re feeling brave enough. Men, on the other hand, have much stricter guidelines and are only given a choice of 10 that pretty much all look the same – funnily enough, they don’t include leader Kim Jong-un’s current crop. On top of this, they have also been ‘advised’ to keep their hair shorter than 5cm and to get it cut every 2 weeks, for fear of looking like some scruffy western 80s rockstar or something.
It appears this is just the latest in a long line of attempts by the North Korean government to force its population to conform to their idea of a ‘perfect socialist citizen’. In 2005, there was a long running TV and radio campaign designed to promote tidy haircuts and appropriate clothing; this included a TV show called “Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle” — yes, let’s. There has even been state TV shows that send out undercover teams to ‘name and shame’ rebel North Koreans who dared to break the strict hairstyle code. They would have their names, addresses and other details broadcast to the nation simply for daring to have long hair or a capitalist haircut. I wonder if anyone dared to sport a pink mullet? If I was in North Korea, I’d just think fuck this and dye my hair red and spike it up whilst wearing a pair of ripped jeans and a T-Shirt saying ‘KIM JONG-UN IS A BELLEND’, but then again that will probably get me ten years in a hard labor camp. Worth it? Probably not.