K-pop, society, and everything in between.

Petition for Infinite and Woollim Entertainment to cancel concert screenings and plans for release of "Inconvenient Truth": an awareness campaign for misogyny and rape culture

About AKF
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Academic articles on K-pop & the Hallyu
"AKF in Korea" series
사생 (sasaeng) fans series
The Block B files

Celebrity sightings, fan meets and the epistemology of K-pop idols: What do we know and how do we know?
K-pop fan-fiction: Thoughts by readers and writers

Blud Bruthaz

"You can thank Google for your new obsession" (CNN Geek Out)
"When fans go too far" (CNN Geek Out)

K-pop fanart & fanfiction
Block B and media misrepresentation
Being branded as a 'K-pop fan'
Regulation & the KMRB's new policy
Fan behavior and decorum
"Plus size" in Korea
SNL Korea does blackface
Politics and Korean hiphop
Don't want to get AIDS? Masturbate!
"Skinny Baby" NOT hot
"Unwed mothers are ignorant whores"?
Shipping, fanfictions, and smut
"Getting an Abortion in South Korea"
South Korea's education system
Tablo, TaJinYo, and the implications of celebrity obsession
Jay Park, JYJ, and other issues that make you think twice about being a K-pop consumer
Block B and cultural silencing
Beauty standards and how idols propagate them
The multiple ventures of an idol
Korean indie vs. K-pop
Block B's comeback in a post-controversy framework
Idols tweeting about private matters
▪ The mentality of idol hopefuls [1] [2]
▪ Jay Park and being 'gangsta' in K-pop [1] [2] [3]
▪ Pursuing idoldom: AKF's advice [1] [2]
Shipping idols of the same sex
The role of visuals in K-pop
Can non-Asians make it in K-pop?
BEAST's 'racist' New York casting call?
Cultural insensitivity plagues K-pop
▪ English in K-pop songs [1] [2]
How 'Asian' are the MAMAs?
Thoughts on fan service
Plastic surgery: achieving 'natural' via unnatural means?
"National prestige" and the Hallyu Wave
Government takes action for sexual exploitation in K-pop?
Cracking down hagwons & education reform
The irony of the 'ethnic diversity' gimmick
BEAST & 4-Minute tells us not to watch porn?
The "Paradox of Korean Globalization" and K-pop
Japanese actor Sousuke Takaoka's "xenophobia" towards Hallyu?
Songs by BEAST, Jay Park, etc. banned
The "plight" of KoreAm idols?
Dalmatian's Daniel imitating accents: funny or "racist"?
What exactly makes K-pop "K-pop"?
Why "K-pop Secrets" sorta piss me off


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The name and the concept was inspired by Angry Asian Man and The Angry Black Woman. In my posts, I cite my sources accordingly. All images I include are not mine. None of the gifs are mine. Nope, not even that green fan. Credits go to their original owners. Someone please make me a less artistically-deficient banner.

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Angry K-pop Fan's literary work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

(Venting since March 2011)
Recent Tweets @angrykpopfan
Asker Anonymous Asks:
Are tattoos still taboo in South Korea? I see lots of kpop idols now revealing/having tattoos like Jay Park. I don't understand where the prejudice on tattoos is coming from considering that lots of these idols have fake tattoos for performances and magazine shoots and it's perfectly fine. I mean, people do think it makes them hotter or something. What difference does it make if it's real or not? If they dislike it, they shouldn't be showing these photos or magazine spread of them with fake tats
angrykpopfan angrykpopfan Said:

I have a feeling attitudes against tattoos are loosening up nowadays, but as late as 2009 prejudice against them were still quite strong (according to this article by the Huffington Post. It also says that Korean men who donned big tattoos were banned from applying to the military, implying the stigma was darn huge. (They were also being accused for draft-dodging, and it’s no secret how severely dishonorable for a Korean male to not join the army.) Apparently this changed a bit, but there are still a few “boundaries.”) I’m not sure if tattoos in South Korea have much of a cultural history, but I do know that body art in Asia in general is commonly seen as marks of gang membership or general criminal activity and violence. (For example, in Japan, huge tattoos (dragons on the back, stereotypically speaking) are associated with the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia). They’re viewed with fear and wary particularly by older generations, meaning that the discouragement to get a tattoo surely manifests among younger Asians today. Even if one wanted to, they’d likely be pressured not to because there are still quite a number of job markets that don’t accept employees with loud body art. A personal example: I currently work part-time at a cafe which is ran by a foreigner. The employees are local (Cambodians), and many of them are inked. I’ve had conversations about it with them, and they expressed to me how grateful and fortunate they were able to find work here regardless (and I’m talking like on their entire arms or calves), and that they believe it’s probably because of their boss, who is more open-minded to body art. There’s a woman who works as a waitress and she’s inked as well, but unlike those who work in the kitchen, she was asked by the management to at least cover her tattooed calf when dealing with customers. It’s not because of the management’s prejudice, but rather, that of the customers. The culture here is still quite conservative, wariness on the part of many locals is still exhibited towards things like tattoos. (Top that off with the fact the waitress is a female.) What’s ironic is that these employees are inked because of previous delinquencies they were involved in… so in a way, the stereotype is still being a bit propagated. Here it’s a bit rare to find someone (a local, at least) who dons body art just for the sake of it, but I’m noticing this is changing quite quickly. 

Tattoos in K-pop is definitely a sign that attitudes are becoming more lax. The relatively more open view towards tattoos in the west, whether it be personal marks of self-expression, or simply aesthetic, (or whether they’re real or not), are evidently transferring over to South Korea, particularly into popular culture (there’s a mini article about inked idols in MTV Iggy here). 

Popular culture is one thing because, again, there are some workplaces that would refuse to hire you, especially those with more conservative environments. (The thing is, I’m wondering if this is the same in a few places in the west? It probably is.) I’m also aware that in many schools in Korea, tattoos are still strictly regulated (if not completely restricted). This includes stuff like dyed hair and pierced ears as well, but I guess it depends on the school. The seemingly open-mindedness towards it in K-pop may or may not in turn foster it among the general population, I’m not sure. I think it’s still too early to tell. However, I don’t think tattoo parlors are illegal anymore because popular shops in Seoul advertise themselves quite openly (tattooists are required to be medically licensed though). At the very least, we’re in the middle of a transition. (This travel forum from 2011 says otherwise though - that even foreigners with tattoos in Seoul may receive a bit of microaggressions from locals (compared to Koreans). I guess it really depends where you are and what line of work you’re involved in - attitudes vary from context to context.) 

Hopefully this answers your question :) Thanks for dropping by!

  1. angrykpopfan posted this