Topic Tuesdays: Random

Fourth Tattoo: Story + Meaning.


25 had taught me that you truly only live once and if you really want to do something, go and fucking do it.

On a Thursday afternoon on the bus on my way home from work, I decided that I wanted to get my fourth tattoo.

Whenever I decide that I want to get a new tattoo, it typically means that something in my life has saved me in a sense, and I decide to document (or honor) that thing through a tattoo idea. My first tattoo honored my favorite TV show of all time, The Killing, the second one honors my passion for writing, the third one represents Kelly Clarkson’s My December album, and this fourth one needed to represent the new thing that has saved me a couple of times: KPop.

KPop was introduced into my life about a year and a half ago during one of my laundry days with my mother. I live in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in NYC, so the laundromat we go to is owned by an Asian family. One day during our laundry days, they played TWICE’s “Knock Knock” on the TV, and the rest is history. It was catchy, it was cute, and I had to go home afterward and find the song on Spotify and listen to it. It then led me down a rabbit hole of everything KPop related. Since then, it’s become pretty much the only genre of music I listen to, and I know a lot more than I should about Kpop, in all honesty. At the end of the day, KPop music makes me extremely happy, and it has saved me through a lot of dark moments of my life within the last year and a half. It was only right that sooner or later, I’d get something that symbolized KPop tattooed on my body.

It’s not common for KPop idols to have tattoos; in fact, most idols with tattoos have to wear a skin-colored patch over their tattoos on music shows just so that they look more “clean” and “natural”. Tattoos in South Korea aren’t as widely accepted as they are in westernized countries, but people do have them and some of them happen to be KPop idols. Particularly TWICE’s Chaeyoung has gotten a couple of tattoos in the last few months which I’m all for, but also two members of X1 have multiple tattoos of their own: Seungwoo and Seungyoun.

Whenever they are allowed to show their tattoos at events and whatnot, one tattoo of Seungyoun’s always caught my eye. I mean sure, Seungwoo’s “Don’t rock me up” tattoo was the true star of the “U GOT IT” performance back in PDX101…

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Ugh, take me back. 

Anyway, I didn’t realize Seungyoun has this tattoo on his wrist until I began to see it in promotional pictures for their album as well as fancam pictures at their fan-signs. On Seungyoun’s wrist, he has a read sad, crying face next to a plus sign and then a yellow smiley face. In an article, it states it represents both of his sides (duh), but also that he got them when his former group, UNIQ, was in an indefinite hiatus.

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I really liked the overall tattoo, although personally for me, I’m not a fan of colored tattoos. I can only imagine how many Seungyoun fans now have this tattooed on their bodies as well, and I guess I’m one of them now, but I truly wanted to get it a little different than his. Atlas, my tattoo came to life.

Not only does this tattoo represent my love for KPop, but it also has another true meaning behind it. Where there is sadness, there is happiness. Where there’s bad, there’s good. Where there are downs, there’re ups. You can’t have one without the other, and together, they make up life.

I didn’t know if I was really ready to get this tattooed on my body, but something told me that this was the perfect multi-meaning tattoo I could possibly get for myself. So, I said “fuck it”, and stopped at the tattoo parlor I usually go to and got this walk-in by one of the guys there named Alex. It took 15 minutes tops; 10 minutes to set up his station, 5 minutes to tattoo it for me. I absolutely love it. 

I don’t know if this will be the last tattoo (probably not, my sibling and I need to get our matching ones still), but I know that whatever I decide to get in the future, it would mean something to me and represent that part of my life.

I’m glad that this impulse decision was a good one! 😉

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