Representative Ryu Ho Jung from South Korea’s Justice Party has been making many headlines for her many historical titles. She is the youngest member of the National Assembly, the only lawmaker under the age of 30, and is known to often push the limits of society. She had shocked the nation by appearing in a short dress during a meeting and attending a parliamentary audit wearing a helmet and work clothes. She claimed they were in an effort to get her point across.
Recently, Ryu Ho Jung has been making headlines again as she posted various photos of BTS‘s Jungkook on her social media to announce the drafting of her Tattoo Up Act which aims to make tattooing legal and regulated in Korea.
Today, the representative wrote a lengthy Instagram post that began with the phrase “Take the bandages off of BTS!”
Have you ever seen bandages on your favorite celebrity’s body? This hideous sight, which is often seen on our Korean broadcasts, is made by the stations’ rules to hide tattoos.
— Ryu Ho Jung
We’ve all probably seen our favorite idol with a random bandage or patch when they appear on broadcast shows. And it’s usually to cover their tattoos. Artists with a heavy amount of tattoos have to either cover their art with clothing and bandages or the broadcast would blur it themselves. The government has long claimed that tattoos destroy morals, cause discomfort, and have adverse effects on young viewers.
Ryu Ho Jung continues to criticize this decision and how it actually harms the artists and the public.
The ‘system’ was not following the changes in the world that now respect the individuality and creativity of free individuals. Beautiful paintings and wonderful words from tattoos that are common around us are illegal in Korea. Korea has over 3 million people with tattoos and tattoos have been deemed as high artistry across the world. Even domestic tattooists are revered as outstanding artists on the world stage but Korea ignored them.
— Ryu Ho Jung
She continued to fight for the tattoo artists’ rights as labor laws do not currently protect them. Tattooists in Korea are in constant danger of losing their income and sometimes even going to prison. Their work also cannot be taxed because it’s illegal, so it is also taking away potential money from the country.
The politician hopes to pass this act so that tattooing can become legal and in a way where the government can regulate it. The act will define requirements for issuing tattooing licenses and allow only qualified and skilled tattooists to have businesses. She stressed that this would protect tattooists and guarantee people’s rights to health, hygiene, and safety management.
She likely used Jungkook’s photos as he is a world-renown idol who almost everyone in Korea recognizes and cares about, so it would be easier for people to empathize with the Act if they think about Jungkook. Jungkook himself is not involved.
What do you think of this? Could it finally be time for Korea to have legal tattooing?