Recently, North Korean television began a bold new initiative aimed at conquering a threat to national supremacy: bad hair.
From BBC News:
North Korea has launched an intensive media assault on its latest arch enemy – the wrong haircut.
A campaign exhorting men to get a proper short-back-and-sides has been aired by state-run Pyongyang television.
The series is entitled Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle.
While the campaign has been carried out primarily on television, reports have appeared in North Korean press and radio, urging tidy hairstyles and proper attire.
It is the strongest media campaign against men’s sloppy appearances mounted in the reclusive and impoverished Communist state in recent years.
The propaganda drive on grooming standards has gone a stage further than previous attempts. This time television identifies specific individuals deemed too shoddy.
Pyongyang television started the campaign last autumn with a five-part series in its regular TV Common Sense programme.
Stressing hygiene and health, it showed various state-approved short hairstyles including the “flat-top crew cut,” “middle hairstyle,” “low hairstyle,” and “high hairstyle” – variations from one to five centimetres in length.
The programme allowed men aged over 50 seven centimetres of upper hair to cover balding.
It stressed the “negative effects” of long hair on “human intelligence development”, noting that long hair “consumes a great deal of nutrition” and could thus rob the brain of energy.
Men should get a haircut every 15 days, it recommended.
Besides pointing out the serious intellectual disabilities long hair can bring about, the series went to the streets, capturing various citizens with less than exemplary hair. Most of them ran away, and the rest just made excuses.
The part about long hair dimming your brainpower is, I think, ironic, because in 1950s US slang a “longhair” was an intellectual.
I can only imagine the feast in telepictures that one of these crews could conjure up if turned loose on, say, Fremont Street.