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Turkmenistan leader bans makeup on TV

Turkmenistan's president is banning national TV anchors from wearing too much makeup, saying they should have naturally coloured skin.

Turkmenistan's president is banning national TV anchors from wearing too much makeup, saying they should appear with natural skin "the colour of wheat."

Saparmurat Niyazov, who controls all branches of the media in the country, scolded the television personalities during a meeting televised on Thursday.

"Female presenters wear too much whitening powder. Sometimes, male presenters do the same," Niyazov said. "This cannot be allowed.

"Turkmens have a complexion of the color of wheat. Presenters should look natural."

In the past year, the authoritarian leader has issued similar decrees affecting citizens' appearance, announcing crackdowns on:

  • Young men with beards or long hair.
  • Female students with unbraided hair.
  • Young people with gold caps on their teeth.
Niyazov has declared himself Turkmenistan's leader for life.

Among other things, the last remaining Soviet-era leader in a former Soviet republic has instituted a new calendar that decrees when a person may be called "old," dividing a lifespan of 109 years into nine segments.

This week, he announced that the country would build a palace made of ice big enough to hold 1,000 people in a mountain region just outside the capital of Ashgabat.

Turkmenistan is a desert country, and one of the hottest places on earth.

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