According to reports on Radio Free Asia, Pyongyang has allegedly issued state-sanctioned guidelines dictating that young men at university should have the same haircut as their young leader, Kim Jong-un. Quite right, too. It’s a wonderful, distinct haircut … isn’t it? It consists of a shaved back and sides with long hair at the top slicked into a centre parting. It’s been described as the ‘youth’ or ‘ambition’ cut – or by others, rather unfairly perhaps, as the ‘Chinese smuggler haircut’. And of course, it’s a bit like ‘a Michael McIntyre’. Haircuts have been at the forefront of Pyongyang politics before, with previous reports stating that every resident should choose a haircut from a list of officially approved styles … there are 18 for women and 10 for men.
I’m not sure if all this is as absurd as it might first appear. It could even explain the love-hate relationship many of us had with Maggie Thatcher. She may have treated the miners in a bad way, but she never forced them to adopt her hairstyle. ‘Be fair,’ as Derek & Clive might have said.
Hairstyles have played a major role in world politics and ‘power-play’ for many years … just look at Silvio Berlusconi (if you can face it). Bill Gates famously criticised him for ‘spending more on his baldness than on combating malaria’. He had his first hair transplant in 2004, days before he was pictured with Tony & Cherie Blair when they holidayed at his Sardinian villa. Berlusconi appeared with a bandanna to protect his scalp from the sun. Italian newspapers then said his hair had ‘undergone an amazing mutation’ … but he was still re-elected. He’s since had another transplant – in fact he’s probably had as many transplants as he’s had bunga-bunga sex parties and convictions … but let’s not go there.
JFK had that cool, windswept Hamptons/Ralph Lauren-style hair which I’m sure contributed to his electorate success. Let’s not discuss Adolf. But I just wonder if it might be the reason why William Hague never became Prime Minister. Did we really want a bald leader after the grey Major when the other option was the youthful-looking and thick-haired Tony? Or did we simply live in fear of being sanctioned by Hague to shave our heads if he’d won power? Anyway, here in Spain today I’m off for ‘a Kim Jong-un’. Has to be better than a ‘dyed Mariano Rajoy’ …