North Korea leader Kim Jong Un presides over a meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea
Nice haircut, Mr Dictator. North Korea leader Kim Jong Un presides over a meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea. KCNA / Reuters

North Korean University Students Are Now Reportedly Required to Get the Same Haircut as Kim Jong Un

Mar 26, 2014

Until now, everyone in North Korea had to choose their haircuts from a list of state-approved styles. But now, all male undergraduates in the hermit kingdom will be required to sport the same hairstyle as supreme leader Kim Jong Un, the BBC reports.

Pyongyang introduced the new law two weeks ago but is now rolling it out across the country. Unfortunately, some North Koreans may not be thrilled about the new look. According to a former Pyongyang resident now living in China, the Kim Jong Un cut is unpopular because it apparently resembles the style of Chinese smugglers. "Until the mid-2000s, we called it the 'Chinese smuggler haircut'," the source told the Korea Times.

For now, it seems women will still be able to choose one of the several state-approved styles. Though if Kim Jong Un is a Friends fan, maybe he'll mandate that all women get "The Rachel." You never know.

Update, 4:05 a.m. ET: The BBC corrected its story to say that the haircut rule applies only to university students, not all North Korean men as originally stated. This story has now been edited to reflect that.

Update, March 27, 10:55 a.m. ET: The Associated Press reports that the mandatory haircuts may be an unfounded rumor. See full report here.

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