What is it about male hair that personifies some sort of statement? While women spend more time, energy and money on their hair it doesn’t nearly get the same attention a single hairstyle on a man gets. There seem to be political connotations always attached to male hair for as far as I can remember. It wasn’t too far back that people in Jordan were looking to ban the emergence of spiky hair and the excessive hair gel that comes with it. In Iran, there’s been a ban on western haircuts, which I assume is represented by anything seen on the show FRIENDS.
So recently, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, whose health has been speculated about for some time now, has issued a ban on long hair for men. What I found interesting is that he did this during a football match. Allegedly, while watching a football match between two Korean universities, Kim Jong Il wasn’t too pleased with some of the male players on his alma mater’s team that sported long hair:
According to an insider, after realizing that several of the Kim Il-sung University players were sporting long hair, Kim declared it to “look disgusting,” and said “I can’t tell if this is men’s soccer or women’s soccer.”
His mood grew steadily worse until the end of the first half, at which point he announced he would not be watching the rest of the match. Whether he was actually watching from the stadium or on television is unknown.
Shortly after the incident, a notice was posted in workplaces across the country banning long hair for men. Staff at Kim Il-sung University were witnessed carrying out particularly stringent checks. [source]
I don’t know how accurate the news is as it was reported by a Japanese paper, but a similar campaign took place three years ago.
If true I think it’s pretty fascinating from a public policy point of view.
Imagine the amount of centralized power in such a country. Where policy-making doesn’t have to go through various revisions, and channels and parliaments, rejections and approvals and evaluations and determinations, until it’s spat out by the massive bureaucracy called government.
The guy was simply annoyed by something he saw at a football match, and moments later, poof, there’s a new policy being implemented.
No red tape.
How many times have you seen something annoying in your everyday life and thought, man, if I had the political power. Just driving around Jordan I’m always mentally arresting people in my head.