London Salon's 'Bad Hair Day' Ad, Which Featured Kim Jong-un, Did Not Please North Korea
A London hair salon recently received some unlikely visitors: A day after staff members at M&M Hair Academy hung a poster of Kim Jong-un and his infamous haircut in its storefront, two North Korean officials entered the salon and asked to speak with the manager. Unlike many passersby who chuckled at the poster, the officials weren't too happy about Kim Jong-un's haircut being used as a symbol of a haircut gone bad.
As a way to promote its April discount — 15 percent off all men's haircuts — M&M Hair Academy superimposed the words "Bad Hair Day?" over a smiling photo of the North Korean dictator. The large, glossy poster garnered many laughs from pedestrians strolling through South Ealing, a neighborhood in west London. People even stopped to take photos with the advertisement.
However, it just so happens that the salon is only a 10-minute walk from the North Korean embassy. Once North Korean officials caught wind of the advertisement, they demanded for it to be taken down.
Mo Nabbach, the salon's manager, told The Guardian he felt threatened:
[The North Korean officials] said: 'That is a country's national leader.' I explained to them we often used pictures of celebrities, Lady Diana, Victoria Beckham. I told them: 'Listen, this is not North Korea. This is England.'
Nabbach says he removed the poster "out of respect," but he's still upset about being bullied in his own salon. He reported the incident to local police. Meanwhile, the North Korea embassy refuses to comment on the story.
M&M Hair Academy staff were no doubt inspired by recent news reports that claim Kim Jong-un required all male university students in North Korea to receive his harsh and unappealing haircut, which features shaved sides and longer parted hair on top. The cut has been mocked by many since the young dictator took power.
While this news has yet to be confirmed by North Korea, it wouldn't be the first time the country dictated cuts, dyes and curls. In 2013, North Korea issued a list of 28 state-approved haircuts for men and women as a way to reportedly combat capitalism. While married women may have longer hair and curls, men and unmarried women must maintain cropped 'dos. Young men must also keep their hair 5-centimeters-long — or less — and get their hair trimmed every 15 days. Surprisingly, Kim Jong-un's current hairstyle was not included among the list.
As for the popularity of the Kim Jong-un cut in London, M&M Hair Academy barber Karim Nabbach, who also designed the controversial ad, says no one has ever requested the strange, shaven look. He expects it won't "catch on" in England until it's sported by a famous Brit — perhaps David Beckham?
Images: Instagram/Karim Nabbach