Previously, male citizens of North Korea had 10 Socialist lifestyle-appropriate haircuts to choose from. Now, according to the questionably-reputable tabloid The Daily Mail, there can only be one — Kim Jong Un’s own, aka “the Dear Leader haircut.” Men are required to maintain the sleeked-back undercut, cutting their hair every 15 days and keeping it shorter than two inches. It is formerly know as the “Chinese smuggler haircut” according to The Korea Times, and really, it’s not that bad. Kind of Joe Strummer-ish.
To begin with, it’s not the ‘Dear Leader haircut.’ His father was the Dear Leader and his father’s haircut and penchant for high-heeled shoes earned him the nickname ‘Altitude’ among his foes. The haircut is very clearly based on his grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.
It is theoretically plausible that the article is true.
Here’s another example. They used to mandate dress-lengths for women, but the women did as they wanted and then they gave up, especially in Pyongyang.
I think Westerners don’t appreciate the defiance that they have in many cases. There is zero political defiance; there is often personal defiance. Especialy if you are powerful, because many people ‘outrank’ the police. It’s like how diplomats from the UN engage in speeding, you know? Yes, they are breaking the law. What the fuck are you going to do? And they know they can get away with it.
I would also point out the following very important fact: Our instinct is to think of them as ‘crazy.’ No one denies that our armed forces mandate haircuts for both genders. The DPRK is a militarist society. Their guiding philosophy introduced by Kim Jong Il is Songun, ‘military first.’ So, it’s not all that crazy that a military nation would have a militaristic approach to hair.
Women still have 18 DPRK-approved haircuts to choose from.