Iran Bans Mullets

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In an effort to rid the country of "decadent Western haircuts," the Iranian government has unveiled a new list of state-sanctioned hairdos . Unfortunately for some, mullets, ponytails and eyebrow plucking didn't make the list. This is the first time an approved hair catalogue was issued since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

  • Here's How Implementation Will Work, writes Roshanak Taghavi at the Christian Science Monitor:  "Proposed hair styles will vary by region and once they are formally approved, Iran's culture ministry will post pictures of acceptable haircuts at men's salons and barbershops throughout the country, according to domestic media reports... Until now, only women faced public warnings, jail, and even beatings for unIslamic attire."
  • What If You Break the Rules?  "First time violators will receive an unflattering short-back-and-sides cut. But serial offenders face stiff fines. And barber shops catering to western styles, can be shut down," writes Aliyah Shahid at The New York Daily News. "The plan is being implemented together with the University of Tehran and the local association of barbers 'in order to avoid inappropriate hairstyles and encourage an Islamic culture.'"
  • It Probably Won't Be That Bad, writes Elizabeth Palmer at CBS News: "In theory, that means Iran's special Islamic morality police will have grounds to stop and fine young men whose hair they don't like. In practice, it probably means that after a flurry of publicity on Iranian state TV, the new bad-hair rules for men will be quietly ignored."
  • Other Disappointing Rules  "It's not all good news for fans of the short back and sides, however," writes Phil Daoust at The Guardian. "1980s-style floppy fringes are acceptable, as are quiffs. And, worryingly, there seems to be a lamentable softening of Iran's hard line on goatees."
  • When Did the Pony Tail Get Big in Iran? "Many young Iranian men wear Western hairstyles, including pony tails, inspired by Hollywood movie stars," writes Aliyah Shahid at The New York Daily News.
  • Limiting Self-Expression Is a Big Deal, writes Kate Sullivan at Allure:  "On the surface, morality laws policing style may seem like relatively small infringements on a person's rights. But the body is the only tool of expression that every person has, and we don't want to see anyone's rights to it taken away...even if that means more French manicures and mullets in the world."
  • This Is Actually an Improvement, writes The Week magazine: "Is this a new crackdown then? Actually, it represents a loosening of the grooming code. Gentlemen are no longer required to wear a beard — for years, a symbol of religious correctness in Iran."
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