Black Hair as a Symbol of Unity and Resistance

Jul 12, 2019 | China, Culture, Gov

East Asia DeskKari.Amarnani author

Barack Obama -President Xi Jinping of China during a State Banquet – Obama White House

Why do older Chinese politicians sport jet black hair?

Have you ever noticed a stark similarity among Chinese government officials? You know, one day, you feel like reading up on a little East Asia news and come across a picture of the Chinese Communist Party gathered around in a table. Can you tell who’s who? Neither can anyone else, and there’s a reason for that.

Leaders in China, and most especially in the Chinese Communist Party, all dye their hair jet black. In fact, the older they are, the darker the hair becomes. This is a practice that has been around since the formation of the party. The collective dyeing of hair into black signifies unity and togetherness that builds credibility among the people. 

National People's Copngress - State Dinner 2009

National People’s Congress – State Dinner 2009 | Obama White House

The act of building up their similarities creates an aura of stability in the group. The idea: if they display themselves as a unified stronghold, they receive the people’s trust. The agenda is to portray themselves not as individuals, but as an institution— a single unit. Furthermore, the black implicates youth meaning new and fresh ideas and examples for execution.

It’s all sounding pretty good so far, but the intentions are not purely wholesome. By diminishing each other’s differences, it becomes harder to single one person out in the face of adversity. This makes it easier to go undetected once you’ve made a mess. Black hair and a position of power apparently grant protection.

The Sweet Scent of Rebellion:

Being in the Chinese Communist Party and opting to go gray? Oof, now that’s a scandalous move. As of late, more politicians are opting to sport their natural gray hair as it paints a more realistic image to the community. How daunting. Unfortunately, these courageous acts do not go unnoticed.

87-year-old Zhu Rongji, China’s former premier, decided to disturb the status quo by going back to his natural gray color, a clear indication that he is no longer protected by the party. There were mixed reactions. Some people were glad to finally witness a sight of reality and authenticity. Others were not so enthusiastic, claiming that the former premier “looked too old” and if so, how would he be able to assist in running a country?

Japan’s Junichiro Koizumi and India’s Narendra Modi both sported their original whitish-gray hair during their administration as it signifies wisdom, experience and authority. China swims against the flow with unconventional ways of running the show. But hey, whatever works— different strokes for different folks.

Peggy Gou: DJ and Fashion Icon is Taking Over

While the rest of the world is going crazy over k-pop stars, a Korean DJ, producer, and fashion icon is taking center stage

It’s Time We Take a Page from Japan’s Gun Laws

Considering Japan’s shining reputation on gun laws, do you think America should take a page from Japan’s book and to make its gun laws stricter?

Vietnam Advises Companies Against Advertising On YouTube

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) has asked various companies to stop advertising on YouTube, accusing proliferating “anti-state propaganda”

China: The Global Counterfeiting Capital

International brands suffer from huge losses yearly to both organized crime and Chinese manufacturers who don’t give two cents if they’re infringing on intellectual property rights.

The Truth About Japan’s Geishas

Geishas help preserve a 300 year old tradition – but they are tagged as prostitutes in modern times.

The Search For MH370 After 5 Years

The on-and-off search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may once again be resumed

China’s Gender Imbalance is Getting Out of Hand

The long-term effects of the One Child Policy is now showing its teeth

Japan Seeks Dominance In Global Renewable Energy Race

Blessed with a variety of renewable resources like wind, solar, and marine, Japan is now looking to dominate the global renewable energy race. And it starts with an Olympic event.

Press Freedom Under Fire: An Interview with Joel Pablo Salud

Journalists in the Philippines continue to battle for their lives – and their right to defend the nation’s democracy.

Hong Kong Plans To Build The World’s 4th Largest Artificial Island

The solution to Hong Kong’s continuously-worsening housing problem is finally here and it comes with an eye-watering USD$79 billion dollars-worth piece of artificial land off the coast of Lantau.

How WeChat Is Dominating Online Life in China

WeChat, or Weixin in China, is being evolved to become Facebook’s biggest rival in providing consumer communication and value-added services via the mobile app.