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Can girls get tattoos in Korea?


In Korea, tattoos have a long and complicated history. Although the country has a thriving tattoo culture, it is still frowned upon by many people. Moreover, there are certain restrictions on who can get tattoos, particularly for women. This article will explore the question of whether girls can get tattoos in Korea and provide a comprehensive overview of the current situation.

The Tattoo Culture in Korea

Tattoos have been a part of Korean culture for centuries, dating back to the Three Kingdoms period. However, they were mainly associated with criminals and outcasts until recently. In the past decade, tattoos have become increasingly popular among young people, especially those in their 20s and 30s. Many celebrities and influencers have also helped to popularize the trend.

The Stigma Against Tattoos

Despite the growing popularity of tattoos in Korea, there is still a stigma associated with them. Many people associate tattoos with gangsters and criminals and view them as a sign of rebellion. Moreover, tattoos are still considered taboo in some workplaces and industries, such as the military and civil service.

The Legal Status of Tattoos

In Korea, tattooing is legal but only licensed medical professionals are allowed to perform it. This means that most tattoo artists operate underground or illegally. However, there have been recent efforts to change the law and allow non-medical professionals to legally offer tattoo services.

Tattoo Restrictions for Women

Although anyone can technically get a tattoo in Korea, there are certain restrictions for women. For example, women are not allowed to get tattoos on their faces or necks. This is because these areas are considered too visible and could be seen as unprofessional or inappropriate.

Cultural Attitudes Toward Women with Tattoos

In addition to legal restrictions, women with tattoos also face cultural attitudes that can be negative. Many Koreans still view tattoos as a sign of promiscuity or rebellion, and women with tattoos may be judged harshly or discriminated against. This is especially true for older generations, who tend to be more conservative.

Why Women Get Tattoos

Despite the risks and challenges, many women in Korea choose to get tattoos for various reasons. Some see it as a form of self-expression or a way to rebel against societal norms. Others get tattoos for sentimental reasons, such as commemorating a loved one or marking an important life event.

The Risks of Getting a Tattoo

Getting a tattoo always comes with some risks, including infection, allergic reactions, and scarring. These risks are heightened in Korea due to the prevalence of underground tattooing and the lack of regulation. Women who are considering getting a tattoo should do their research carefully and choose a reputable artist.

Tattoo Removal Options

For those who have already gotten tattoos but regret their decision, there are several options for removal. These include laser removal, surgical excision, and dermabrasion. However, these procedures can be expensive and painful, so it’s important to think carefully before getting a tattoo.

Advice for Women Considering Tattoos in Korea

If you’re a woman who is considering getting a tattoo in Korea, there are several things to keep in mind. First, make sure you choose an experienced and reputable artist who uses sterile equipment. Second, be aware of the legal restrictions and cultural attitudes toward tattoos. Finally, think carefully about your reasons for getting a tattoo and whether it’s worth the potential risks and challenges.

The Future of Tattooing in Korea

Despite the challenges facing women with tattoos in Korea, there are signs that attitudes are slowly changing. More and more young people are embracing tattoos as a form of self-expression, and there is growing support for legalizing non-medical tattooing. Only time will tell how the tattoo culture in Korea will evolve in the coming years.


In conclusion, girls can technically get tattoos in Korea, but they may face legal restrictions and cultural attitudes that make it challenging. Women who are considering getting a tattoo should carefully weigh the risks and benefits and choose an experienced artist who operates safely and legally. While tattoos may still be taboo in some parts of Korean society, they are becoming increasingly accepted as a form of self-expression and art.

Can girls have tattoos in Korea?

Although tattoos are not prohibited by law in South Korea, actually getting one is illegal, as it is considered a medical procedure and can only be performed by a licensed healthcare professional. Despite this, many young people in South Korea still have tattoos and can be seen displaying them openly.

Is it OK to have tattoos in South Korea?

In South Korea, only medical professionals with licenses are allowed to operate tattoo parlors, while individuals without medical degrees are not permitted to do so. However, having a tattoo is not against the law, with the exception of the military which prohibits tattoos. After completing military service, individuals are free to get tattoos.

What is the legal age to get a tattoo in Korea?

In South Korea, like in many parts of the United States, the minimum age to get a tattoo is 18. However, a woman named Young lied to a tattoo artist and said she was 20 in order to get a tattoo before she was legally allowed to. When she actually turned 20 years old, Young was in college studying fashion, but her struggles with depression ultimately caused her to stop attending class. This occurred on January 17, 2019.

Can foreigners get tattoos in Korea?

Even though there are restrictions, it is still legal for individuals to get tattoos in Korea, with only the artists facing charges if caught. If you want to support the rebel movement and book an appointment with a tattoo artist (known as a “tattooist” in Korea), here is how you can do it: by making reservations and following proper procedures.

Do any female kpop idols have tattoos?

Hyun Ah, a soloist and former member of 4Minute, is a K-pop idol who proudly displays her tattoos. Although she has several tattoos, each one holds a special meaning. An example is the couple tattoo she got with her fiance, Dawn.

Which female kpop idol has tattoos?

Soojin, a member of the popular K-pop girl group (G)I-DLE, is known for having a collection of eight tattoos. The tattoos are strategically placed on various parts of her body and are relatively small and delicate, which matches the group’s overall preference for small tattoos.

It’s important to note that the attitude towards tattoos in Korea is not universal. While there may be some negative views, there are also many people who embrace the tattoo culture and see it as a form of artistic expression. There are even tattoo conventions held in Korea, showcasing the work of talented artists from all over the world.

For women who do decide to get a tattoo in Korea, it’s important to be aware of the potential consequences. Depending on the industry or workplace, having visible tattoos may limit job opportunities or lead to discrimination. It’s also possible that family and friends may disapprove or be uncomfortable with the decision.

Despite these challenges, many women still choose to get tattoos as a way to express themselves and celebrate their individuality. It’s important for society to continue to evolve and become more accepting of different forms of self-expression, including tattoos.

In conclusion, while there may be legal and cultural obstacles for girls who want to get tattoos in Korea, it ultimately comes down to personal choice. Women who choose to get tattoos should do so with careful consideration and research, but they should also feel empowered to express themselves in whatever way they choose. The tattoo culture in Korea is evolving, and hopefully, in time, it will become more widely accepted and celebrated.

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