Copying her look, it seems, is now an insult to Kim Jong-un’s sacred personality

North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un just can’t figure out what kind of fashion icon he wants to be. For years there have been reports of the mysterious and tragicomic totalitarian state of lack of choice for the people. A great symbol of this lack of freedom was the fact that people could only have their hair cut in state-approved styles, and many men and boys were encouraged to emulate Kim’s hairstyle – a kind of hairstyle. to the bowl with a strange line in the middle. It’s a hairstyle that only a dictator can achieve: most ordinary people won’t care. Now, it seems that the North Korean authorities have decided that imitation is no longer a form of flattery.

Since December 2019, Kim has been wearing a leather trench coat. Unlike haircuts, this fashion choice would have more takers, and many North Koreans have spent relatively exorbitant sums – the country has an abysmal income per capita – to wear a leather jacket. But, it looks like Kim now wants to be unique in her look and the police have cracked down on the trench coat. Copying her look, it seems, is now an insult to Kim’s sacred personality.

At first glance, it seems Kim is confused – it looks like he can’t decide between wanting to be the fashion leader or just a cool lone wolf, wearing a leather jacket, James-Dean style. After all, if a leather jacket becomes a uniform, is it still a leather jacket? But perhaps there is more of a method for sartorial diktats. When everyone was talking about a dated and somewhat unflattering bowl cut, he wanted everyone to be like him. Now that he’s cool, he wants to go it alone. Misery, Kim knows, loves company. And when you finally get a good preview, you don’t want copiers.

This editorial first appeared in the print edition on November 30, 2021 under the title ‘Kim Dean’.

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