Kim's trim: NKorean Male Students Required to Have Leader's Haircut

Image: Kim's trim: NKorean Male Students Required to Have Leader's Haircut

Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 12:32 PM

By Joe Battaglia

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A new state-sanctioned guideline will require every male university student in North Korea to have the same haircut as their leader, Kim Jong Un.

According to media reports, the new hairstyle decree went into effect two weeks ago. Known as the "Dear Leader," the style features a tightly shaved undercut with floppy curtains of locks at the top.

State-approved hairstyles have been the norm in North Korea for some time. Until this latest mandate, North Koreans had a list of 28 approved hairstyles  to choose from — 10 for men and 18 for women. Kim Jong Un's style was not among them.

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North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il, who ruled for 17 years until his death in 2011, sported a bouffant hairstyle, reportedly in order to look taller. However, the country has generally sought shorter hair styles for its men over the last decade.

According to the Daily Mail,  North Korean state TV launched a five-part series in 2005 titled "Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle" to promote short hair among males. The show would employ hidden cameras to catch "rebel" North Koreans who were breaking the strict hairstyle code.

The makers of the program named and shamed individuals who chose to cut their hair differently, and even claimed men should keep their hair shorter than two inches and have it cut every 15 days because having long hair would drain their brains of energy.

The new state-ordered "fashion guideline" for male university students has received some backlash.

"Our leader's haircut is very particular, if you will," one source told Radio Free Asia. "It doesn't always go with everyone, since everyone has different face and head shapes."

A North Korean now living in China told The Korea Times that Kim Jong Un's look is unpopular in North Korea, saying, "Until the mid-2000s, we called it the 'Chinese smuggler haircut.'"

Protesting, of course, would do no good. Any such "recommendations" or "suggestions" from Pyongyang are essentially irrefutable, staunch laws in the reclusive communist nation.

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