Mar 27, 2014 08:18 AM EDT
North Korean Leader Forces Male Students to Mimic his Unique Hairstyle
If you are a college student, you don't want to be anywhere near North Korea.
North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, has ordered all male university students in the capital city of Pyongyang to ape his military style haircut.
Reacting to the state-sanctioned guideline issued around two weeks ago, one source told Radio Free Asia that not everyone was happy with the news, "Our leader's haircut is very particular, if you will. It doesn't always go with everyone since everyone has different face and head shapes," BBC reports.
A former Pyongyang resident, now living in China, said that the 31-year-old's distinctive haircut was referred to as 'Chinese smuggler haircut' until the mid-2000s, Korean Times reports. Other sources have referred to Kim Jong-Un's hairstyle as shady criminal underclass and '90's-by-way-of-the-40's' style among others.
The 'Dear Leader' is more likely to have adopted the hairdo as a tribute to his grandpa. Meanwhile, Kim Jong-il, the father of Kim-Jong-Un, donned a bouffant hairstyle, reportedly to look taller.
"Kim Jong Un's haircut is a very particular one, shaved up the sides to make him look like Kim Il Sung did when he was in his 30s (i.e., in the late 1940s)," Bruce Cumings, a Korean history expert from the University of Chicago, told the Washington Post. "This occurred right after Kim Jong Il died, Kim Jong Un was sporting this cut in January 2012 and it was clearly meant to identify him with his grandfather, not his father."
It seems college-age students in North Korea do not enjoy much freedom compared to their peers residing in other parts of the world, even when it comes to their hair.
Haircuts have been state-approved in the Hermit Kingdom for several decades now. Women are reportedly allowed to choose from 18 styles, while it is 10 for men. North Korea's state TV even launched a campaign against long hair, called 'Let us trim our hair in accordance with the Socialist lifestyle.'
Aidan Foster Carter, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea at Leeds University in Britain believes the latest news to be false as no one yet has been spotted having a Kim Jong Un-style haircut.
"I think we can add this to the long list of ridiculous news stories on North Korea," said Andray Abrahamian, Executive Director of Choson Exchange. "Everybody had typical haircuts there last week when we were there for a Women in Business program."
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