If there’s a fashion statement that deserves to be banned internationally, it’s the mullet. So in one sense, it’s hard to deprecate Iran’s decision last week to banish the hairdo, along with ponytails and spikes, from the heads of its male citizens. Then again, what’s more absurd — that the Iranian regime is attempting to snip Western influences from young men’s heads, or that it considers mullets to be “Western” in the first place? The 1980s called, Mahmoud, and it wants its fashion sense back.
But after the chuckles fade, the new rules highlight the arbitrary — and oftentimes brutal — tactics that the Iranian regime employs to control its citizens. The hair dictate may be silly, but it demonstrates the government’s determination to smother the personal liberties of its otherwise diverse and vibrant populace.
The people of Iran deserve a democracy in which they can express themselves however they like. The protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election have largely died down and, unfortunately, failed to change much within the country. Hopefully, those protesters will find some way to rekindle their energy, anger, and unity to change Iran from within — no matter if they are sporting mullets or not.