While tattoos are still considered controversial in South Korea, numerous idols have braved the criticism to ink their bodies. While some of those tattoos are purely decorative, many of them represent deep meanings, events, or emotions. Here are 6 of the saddest idol tattoo meanings.
1. Hyolyn’s Cross Tattoo
Hyolyn has plenty of tattoos on her body, but the most noticeable is the big cross on her abdomen.
Alongside representing Hyolyn’s Christian beliefs, there’s a sadder meaning behind this cross tattoo. When Hyolyn was a born, she was diagnosed with several serious conditions, including pediatric cancer.
Immediately after her birth, Hyolyn was placed in an incubator to keep her alive. Doctors performed a successful surgery to treat her condition, but a year later, Hyolyn required a second major surgery. These procedures left her with a scar across her abdomen.
So I thought, “What if I covered up my scar according to its shape?”
Though the meaning behind Hyolyn’s tattoo is sad, she said that covering up her scar gave her much more confidence.
2. Yeri’s ‘Aurora’ Tattoo
Red Velvet’s Yeri has a few small and elegant tattoos which can only be spotted when her pose is just right. One of these tattoos is the word ‘AURORA’ on her middle finger.
While Yeri rarely talks about her tattoos, fans believe the word might be a reference to “Aurora”, a song by Yeri’s close friend Jonghyun.
3. Seungwoo’s ‘Don’t Lock Me Up’ Tattoo
Seungwoo, leader of VICTON and X1, has a tattoo below his collarbone that says ‘Don’t Rock Me Up’.
Some fans were confused about the meaning of the phrase. But at a fansign, Seungwoo revealed that the spelling was a mistake. What he really wanted to say was ‘Don’t Lock Me Up’.
Seungwoo oppa is “Don’t lock me up” ‘s L to R, intentionally or is it a mistake?
— xx (@captainseungUWU) September 8, 2019
The intended phrase is a reminder to Seungwoo that when he’s feeling sad and down, he shouldn’t keep all his emotions to himself.
4. Zico’s Mother Tattoo
Zico has a very intricate tattoo on the left side of his chest: a portrait of his mother.
It’s heartwarming how much Zico loves his mom, and the placement has a special meaning too. His brother, Taewoon, revealed that Zico got the tattoo over his heart because his mother is as important as his heart.
5. Zico’s Yellow Ribbon Tattoo
While Zico’s tattoo of his mother is touching, he has an even more heartbreaking image on his arm: an awareness ribbon. It is believed that the ribbon represents the Sewol ferry tragedy that happened in 2014.
Over 300 people lost their lives when the Sewol ferry sank almost 6 years ago, many of them young people. Tragically, one of the victims was a fan of Zico’s group, Block B, and was due to attend their upcoming concert. Zico visited the 17-year-old fans funeral and invited her parents to the concert as special guests.
그 세월만은 잊지않도록
Don’t forget never forget
— ZICO (@ZICO92) December 31, 2014
Zico has paid tribute to the victims of this tragedy on many more occasions. Some of his solo songs are 4 minutes and 16 seconds long, to represent the date of the incident (4.16, or April 16).
6. Hyuna’s Mother Tattoo
Zico isn’t the only artist with a tattoo honoring his mother. Hyuna has one too. Hers reads, “My mother is the heart that keeps me alive”, adorned with stars.
The sad part of Hyuna’s tattoo is that she didn’t get to talk to her mother much throughout her busy career. When Hyuna starred on Invincible Youth, she was given the chance to call her mom. During the talk, Hyuna broke down in tears over how much she missed her.
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