Flower Boy with a Tattoo?
Lee Jong-suk is definitely not an unfamiliar name in the industry after having starred in dramas such as School 2013, Pinocchio, and recently, While You Were Sleeping. His boyish charm and flower boy image has found its way into the hearts of viewers, starting a craze between Korean drama enthusiasts and regular viewers. Although he is nearing his thirties, people still cannot let go of the first love reputation that he holds as the guy next door that girls crush on as they grow up, but can this image change within a second with the supposed addition of tattoos?
As of recent, there have been headlines regarding Lee Jong-suk’s tattoos with pictures to complete the news. So, what is it all about? Is Lee Jong-suk really ditching his flower boy image and in turn going for the bad boy seducer image? Are you curious about the art he has placed on his body? Stay tuned for more information on Lee Jong-suk’s tattoos!
Tattoos in Korea
Tattoos in Korea is not something people usually encounter on a day to day basis as there is a long time stigma against it. Way back during the period following the Korean war, tattoos were largely associated with gangs and social deviants as the tattoos were usually the sign of their gangs and other affiliated symbols. Due to this stigma, people who grew up in the 70s and 80s are not usually seen with a tattoo and are mostly conservative in regards to their views on body art. The same can not be said about the youth that is rising today.
Recently, it has been a trend among the youth to get tattoos ranging from extensive back pieces to smaller, hidden pieces on their ankles and wrists. Despite it, it has been illegal to run a tattoo shop without a practicing medical license, which is very unique in a sense. In other countries, this requirement is not enforced, and tattoo artists are free to practice as long as there is consent. Furthermore, tattoo shops are to practice in hiding due to the social stigma surrounding the practice in general, with shops hidden on the second and third floors of regular commercial buildings.
Social stigmas also dictate the lives of youths who are still required to serve in the army, with tattoos being one of the things considered when enlisting. Young males with considerably large sized tattoos are not allowed to serve in the military under a multitude of reasons that are currently still undisclosed. This could also be a way for the government to deter youths from getting tattoos. Thus, it is to no surprise that Lee Jong-suk’s supposed tattoos are practically nonexistent and are just done temporarily as an aesthetic choice.
Lee Jong-suk’s Temporary Tattoos
In May 2014, Ceci revealed their issue of the month featuring a very sexily tattooed Lee Jong-suk with a suit on that exposed his abs and supposed tattoos. This caused quite a stir in communities online as speculations surfaced of Lee Jong-suk’s secret tattoos being revealed for the very first time to the public. Sadly, it was later denied as the tattoos were only done temporarily to match the photo shoot’s concept of showing Lee Jong-suk’s more mature and alluring side, different from his typical flower boy image.
The tattoos were done by tattoo studio Panda which has also done tattoo work for idol group Boyfriend for a similar tattoo centric photo shoot. The tattoos are done with a very simple and clean black ink with minimal shading and no color added, creating the mature and alluring look the photo shoot team was aiming for.
As seen above, Lee Jong-suk is casually dressed in sweatpants and a striped tank top, lifting the top to show off his perfectly sculpted abs. Along with these are tattoos placed on the side of his neck and his left bicep. The placement of the tattoos can be considered quite bold as the tattoo on his neck is not something that is easily hidden. The bold placement and design of the tattoos reflect a more mature image, different from his usual flower boy self. The design on the side of his neck is of a sparrow flying over the span of his neck, usually signifying creativity and simplicity, something that is in line with his career and the photo shoot’s concept.
Other than that, the design on his bicep is of a geometric-like shape that resembles the arrow found on a compass. This could either mean that the compass leads somewhere important or is a defense against harm. There is no right way to confirm the design itself and the meaning behind it as it was only specifically made for this shoot, so for all we know, it could have been specifically for aesthetic purposes.
The picture above of Lee Jong-suk on a boldly patterned carpet in a boldly patterned suit fits the theme just right. It does not particularly showcase the designs of his tattoos, but it does support their existence. As seen above, his pose showcases his abs perfectly and plays into the theme of maturity and sophistication that has not previously been showcased in his works or any other photo shoot, signifying his coming of age through this particular magazine spread.
Lastly, the black and white pictures above depict Lee Jong-suk wrapped in a white cotton sheet with the previously noted striped tank top and sweatpants. Aside from the tattoos on his neck and arms, there are also tattoos marking his fingers, particularly his index, middle, and ring finger, each with a different icon. The icons are mere outlines of what seems to be a heart, a diamond, and a crown supposedly signifying his current position in the entertainment industry. Lee Jong-suk might not be the most critically acclaimed Korean actor out there, but he is doing relatively well across the board from dramas to movies, and he has his fans to back that up. In addition, he has recently ranked quite high in terms of fame and fortune, justifying the inclusion of the symbols above.
So, what do you think of Lee Jong-suk’s temporary tattoos? Do you think he should get any permanent ones? Comment your thoughts down below!