Just when we thought we had run out of utterly bizarre things to report about North Korea, something else presents itself. The nation may be financially bankrupt, but as far as entertainment value goes, it is a veritable goldmine.
Exceeding its reputation for being creepy and far-too-controlling in the lives of its citizens, the government of North Korea has imposed strict restrictions on haircuts. The restrictions are not limited to saying how long a person’s hair can be; citizens are required to have their hair styled in an officially-sanctioned style.
The Hermit Kingdom would likely say there is plenty of freedom to choose — as long as you choose one of the 28 styles. More to the point, there are 18 approved haircuts for women and 10 for men.
Curiously, one haircut you will not find on the approved list is that of the nation’s dictator, Kim Jong-Un. There is no official word as to whether that is because the hairstyle is considered sacred and unavailable to mere mortals or because it is simply too silly for anyone else to want to have it.
Street patrols by the so-called “fashion police” are common. They can be identified as women dressed in black traditional Korean “hanbok” robes, armed with whistles. The women, officially known as patrol units of the Women’s Union, are tasked with stopping and interrogating any passers-by whose dress or haircut does not fall within officially prescribed norms.
Short and revealing skirts are considered a misdemeanor and while trousers are allowed for women they must not be rolled up over the knees. Violations of dress or haircut standards are punishable with fines and short-term imprisonment.
We assume the punishment for mimicking the Supreme Leader’s haircut is that you have to be seen in public with it.
Read more fun facts about fashion.
Read about more stupid laws.