Banned in Iran: the Mullet

Ransom Riggs

Lots of things are banned in Iran (though some are unofficially tolerated -- including all manner of books, tattoos, skinny jeans, Gmail, YouTube, Barbie dolls, Harry Potter, jorts -- they're even considering a law banning dog ownership, claiming that as "a blind imitation of Western culture," it "poses a problem." Pff. Whatev, dogg.

The one ban I can sort of almost get behind, however, is this -- mullets. Yep, it's just one of many prohibitions regarding dress, but under new personal grooming laws decreed in 2010, mullets are not allowed. In recent years, barbershops have been shut down for cutting people's hair this way. The cuts are considered "decadent" and "too Western," though I would argue that this was true perhaps 10 or 15 years ago, not now. These days, the mullet can be seen all over the place in Russia and Eastern Europe, not the streets of NYC. (Though who knows, we could see the resurgence of the mullet in ironic form among hipsters before long.) I think you could have a serious and productive argument about whether the mullet is a "Western" hairstyle anymore.

Just to add to the confusion, accepted Iranian hairstyles include the pompadour (how that's less "decadent" than a mullet is beyond me), short spikes, and for the first time in recent memory, goatees are officially OK'd, as well.

My question is: what if you wear a mullet for religious reasons?