UPDATE : 2024.6.3 Mon 00:19
What's Wrong with Tattoos?
  • By Seo Seong-il, reporter
  • 승인 2019.10.18 15:35
  • 호수 269
  • 댓글 0

Tattoos have negative connotations in Korean society. Despite changing in younger those who have tattoos in Korea are still looked down upon. When people in Korea think about tattoos, they will most likely associate them with gangs. To help educate enlighten and to shed a positive light on tattoos, here are two interviews with people have tattoos: Seo Bo-Min who is currently living in Korea and Beck Young-Jun who is currently studying abroad in the States. Here are their perspectives on tattoos.

“Hi, I am Seo Bo-Min. I am studying International Trade Department of Changwon University. To me tattoos are, a form of fashion. I believe that there is a limit to how much you can express yourself through clothes. I’ve always enjoyed reading fashion magazines and wearing different styles of clothing ever since I was young. However, even when I wore my favorite outfits, I never felt that it was enough to fully express myself. So, I thought to myself “How can I express myself more?” It was then that realized tattoos could be a way to complete my look. After getting tattooed, I understood that tattoos completed my look in a way that clothes couldn’t. Additionally, each tattoo has different meaning. Because tattoos are permanently on into my skin the meaning of each tatto is also permanently in my mind. When I first learned about tattoos, I was mesmerized by all the different styles of tattoos. This made it difficult for me to choose a style of tattoo. Luckily, I thought of my favorite film, ‘The Dark Knight’. In this movie the Joker was a character that caught my attention, So, I decided to get the Joker as my first tattoo. I didn’t want to get a tattoo that was just a copied image from the movie, so I asked the tattoo artistic to create an image of the Joker in an original and unique style. After my first tattoo, I chose to get another one. My second tattoo was inspired by the movie ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’. In this movie, the main character is a who gains the ability to travel back in time 99 times. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions watching this movie. To remember the emotional journey the emotions I went through I asked the tattoo artist for a design that would represent the emotions that I felt while watching the movie. The most recent tattoo that I got was a whale. Whales symbolize family love and I wouldn’t be here without the love of my family. I got this tattoo to express my gratitude towards my family and to remember the ones who take care of me. Seeing this tattoo every morning reminds me to be grateful that I have such a wonderful family. All in all, I am thankful for the tattoos I have because each one represents reasons to live everyday as we as I can. It is also a unique way of expressing one’s self. My tattoo philosophy could be summed up as, "Remember who I am now." As mentioned earlier, all the tattoos I have remind me of my past, allow me to stay strong and help me remember the journey of how I came to be where I am no.”

Hi, I'm Beck Young-Jun from The State University of New York at Buffalo. I always found tattoos to be very appealing. When I was young, I would listen to a lot of hip-hop artists and they seemed to have a lot of tattoos. I never thought of tattoos as associated with gangs but rather as a way to express one’s self. Although tattoos were appealing to me, I didn’t want to get a tattoo just an aesthetic reasons. Not so long ago, I was going through a rough patch in my life. I talked to my friends about it, hoping to get good advice or to feel reassured, but I didn’t feel much better. So, I talked to my dad about the problems that were bothering me. He told me “People are like the wind. Strong or faint, the harder you chase, everything eventually fades.” This inspired me and really helped me get through some hard times. So much so that, I decided to translate it into English and get a of my dad’s quote. In the future, I’ve decided that whatever I face hardship or problems in my life, I will get a tattoo to represent the obstacles that I have overcome. So, I don’t know what my next tattoo will be, and it excites me because every tattoo I get will symbolize how much tougher I have become. I believe that tattoo shows one’s personality and beliefs. I don’t necessarily have any beliefs or a philosophy about tattoos. However, I do want to say that people who have a negative opinion of tattoos should try and look at them from a different perspective. Instead of associating the tattoos with gangs, think about what that tattoo means to that person and why he or she decided to get a tattoo.”

▲Tattoo, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
▲A whale tattoo
▲Tattoo, “People are like the wind. Strong or faint, the harder you chase, everything eventually fades”
▲Tattoo, “People are like the wind. Strong or faint, the harder you chase, everything eventually fades”

By Seo Seong-il, reporter  qlvmfl99@naver.com

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