We’ve all heard about the fashion police who patrol the streets of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, arresting women who are not modestly dressed. This has even spilled over into Western countries, but this is a much more serious topic in the Middle East. In China, it has to do with making a good impression on Western visitors during the Olympics, which will be held there next summer.

In the Independent, Clifford Coonan reports that China’s police are being told they can have “no weirdly dyed hair, no beards, no sideburns” and can’t wear scarves or jewelry, even when they are off duty. Male police officers can’t have long or curly hair and female officers can’t wear their hair longer than shoulder length or use nail polish. Neither sex can wear sunglasses, unless they have a medical problem.

In April, it was taxi drivers: they were told not to dye their hair bright red or yellow and not to wear chunky earrings.

It sounds like the Chinese are going in for fashion in a big way, after the long period of dreary sameness that characterized the Soviet era.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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