When Americans Thought Hair Was a Window Into the Soul

Article courtesy of The Conversation, written by Sarah Gold McBride

In 2004, the North Korean government launched one of the oddest television campaigns in recent history: “Let’s trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle.”

Accompanied by radio and print ads, the five-part TV series urged North Korean men to wear their hair short. State-approved haircuts, the campaign explained, ranged in length from one to five centimeters, with seven centimeters permitted for men over 50 who sought to hide a balding scalp.

Why, exactly, did the government care so much about how North Korean men chose to wear their hair? Long hair, the campaign argued, “consumes a great deal of nutrition” and thus threatened “human intelligence development” by depriving the brain of necessary energy.

Pseudoscientific ideas aside, state media also suggested that hair represented something deeper. The newspaper Minju Choson claimed that hair is a “very important issue that shows the people’s cultural standards and mental and moral state.”

This bizarre campaign might strike a Western reader as just another idiosyncratic North Korean story. But the idea that hair can reflect someone’s character didn’t originate with Kim Jong-il.

Until the early 20th century, people across the United States believed that hair could expose the truth about the person from whose head it sprouted. Hair was not just a means of creative self-expression or political affiliation, as it became in the middle of the 20th century – when it could signal to others that you were a hippie, a company man or a black nationalist. Nor was it simply a subject of ridicule, like Donald Trump’s hair – a source of endless speculation and mockery.

Instead, hair was understood to be a reliable – even scientific – method for quickly classifying a stranger. Hair, many 19th-century Americans believed, could reveal qualities like courage, ambition or criminal inclinations.

It also held exceptional weight in conversations about race.

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Sen. Ted Cruz: NOBODY should be afraid of Trump's Supreme Court justice pick

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to weigh in on President Donald Trump's potential Supreme Court nominees and talk about his timely new book, "One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History."

Sen. Cruz argued that, while Congressional Democrats are outraged over President Trump's chance at a third court appointment, no one on either side should be afraid of a Supreme Court justice being appointed if it's done according to the founding documents. That's why it's crucial that the GOP fills the vacant seat with a true constitutionalist.

Watch the video below to hear the conversation:

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Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to talk about why he believes President Donald Trump will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will consider and vote on the nominee, also weighed in on another Supreme Court contender: Judge Barbara Lagoa. Lee said he would not be comfortable confirming Lagoa without learning more about her history as it pertains to upholding the U.S. Constitution.

Watch the video below to hear the conversation:

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This week on the Glenn Beck Podcast, Glenn spoke with Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias about his new book, "One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger."

Matthew and Glenn agree that, while conservatives and liberals may disagree on a lot, we're not as far apart as some make it seem. If we truly want America to continue doing great things, we must spend less time fighting amongst ourselves.

Watch a clip from the full interview with Matthew Yglesias below:


Find the full podcast on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.

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'A convenient boogeyman for misinformation artists': Why is the New York Times defending George Soros?

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On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday, Glenn discussed the details of a recent New York Times article that claims left-wing billionaire financier George Soros "has become a convenient boogeyman for misinformation artists who have falsely claimed that he funds spontaneous Black Lives Matter protests as well as antifa, the decentralized and largely online, far-left activist network that opposes President Trump."

The Times article followed last week's bizarre Fox News segment in which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared to be censored for criticizing Soros (read more here). The article also labeled Glenn a "conspiracy theorist" for his tweet supporting Gingrich.

Watch the video clip below for details:


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