While the repressive Democratic People's Republic of Korea is only sending 10 athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, the score of 230 cheerleaders more than makes up for the dearth of athletes.
As New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino so eloquently writes, there is a deep absurdity in witnessing "one of the world’s most repressive, totalitarian nations attempt to deploy two hundred and thirty smiling women as a diplomatic shield."
Fittingly dubbed "The Army of Beauties," the massive squad of matching young women are slated to root not only for the North Korean athletes, but those of South Korea as well.
The young women are all hand-picked from top colleges in North Korea, and undergo severe backgrounds checks to insure their faithfulness to the regime. Unsurprisingly, Kim Jong Un also placed attractiveness near the top of the list of requirements.
While the "army of beauties" is militantly dedicated to Kim John Un (lest they be sent to prison camps), the uniformed image of smiling young women presents a stark contrast to the dictator himself.
They present, in effect, a brilliant and terrifying propaganda technique to normalize the regime.
Given the massive size of their squad, and the stylized and manicured uniforms, the pictures of them feel uncanny.
The same characteristics that make this gathering of 230 women a beautiful and fascinating spectacle, also make them a terrifying force for propaganda. But dang, those outfits though.