Monday, January 10, 2005

Ill-advised haircut

Please note, per the BBC, that long hair is not in keeping with the Socialist lifestyle:

North Korea has launched an intensive media assault on its latest arch enemy - the wrong haircut.

A campaign exhorting men to get a proper short-back-and-sides has been aired by state-run Pyongyang television.

The series is entitled Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle.

Men's hairstyles, it turns out, reflect their ideological spirit. Or maybe you knew that.

We are all familiar with the phenomenon of the ill-advised haircut. Perhaps a friend has sported one or, and you need not admit it, you yourself have. I can recall a phase in high school characterized by mousse, hair spray, and too much teasing (of the hair that is).

But now when you are doubting your own ability to discern one from the other, you need look no further than Pyongyang television's Common Sense programme:

Stressing hygiene and health, it showed various state-approved short hairstyles including the "flat-top crew cut," "middle hairstyle," "low hairstyle," and "high hairstyle" - variations from one to five centimetres in length.

The programme allowed men aged over 50 seven centimetres of upper hair to cover balding.

It stressed the "negative effects" of long hair on "human intelligence development", noting that long hair "consumes a great deal of nutrition" and could thus rob the brain of energy.

Men should get a haircut every 15 days, it recommended.

Common sense indeed. I would doubt, however, whether the combover is in keeping with the Socialist lifestyle.

And who knew that the North Korean state radio had generated this list of Glamour Don'ts?
State radio programmes such as "Dressing in accordance with our people's emotion and taste" link clothes and appearance with the wearer's "ideological and mental state".

Tidy attire "is important in repelling the enemies' manoeuvres to infiltrate corrupt capitalist ideas and lifestyle and establishing the socialist lifestyle of the military-first era," the radio says.

Newspapers too highlight the civic advantages of short hair and smart shoes.

Hair is a "very important issue that shows the people's cultural standards and mental and moral state", argues Minju Choson, a government daily.

"No matter how good the clothes, if one does not wear tidy shoes, one's personality will be downgraded."

For party papers such as Nodong Sinmun, the struggle against foreign and anti-communist influence is being fought out in the arena of personal appearance.

"People who wear other's style of dress and live in other's style will become fools and that nation will come to ruin," it says.


freeman said...

Heh... I wonder what ideology is construed from a shaved head?

Isis said...

Hmmmm...maybe an anti-shampoo ideology, or a radical disbelief in styling products, or else a deliberate rejection of bedhead?