Sorting twisted fact from outrageous fiction is especially difficult when it comes to North Korea, where reporters are barely allowed and tightly controlled. Yes, the authoritarian regime does ridiculous and heinous things, like build lavish ski resorts that its starving people can’t afford for propaganda purposes or execute family members, but no, most likely not with a pack of ravenous dogs. The latest internet favorite is a report claiming Kim Jong-un mandated his stylish, “Same Love” undershave for all guys in the capital. Amusing, sure, but dubious.
“I was there just a few days ago, and no sign of that,” said Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, which specializes in bringing foreign tourists to North Korea. “It’s definitely not true.”
An AP journalist in Pyongyang also said he had not seen any recent changes in hairstyles among college students in the capital.
Which is not to say that the totalitarian government does not have its fashion preferences:
In 2005, however, the government waged war against men with long hair, calling them unhygienic anti-socialist fools and directing them to wear their hair “socialist style.” It derided shabbily coifed men as “blind followers of bourgeois lifestyle.” The country’s state-run Central TV even identified violators by name and address, exposing them to jeers from other citizens.
The hair campaign, dubbed “Let’s trim our hair according to socialist lifestyle,” required that hair be kept no longer than 5 centimeters (2 inches). Older men received a small exemption to allow comb-overs.
Instead of Macklemore, flowing-man-hair icon and serious musician Jared “To All the Dreamers Out There” Leto should write the protest anthem.