by RUTH KIM
Singer Justin Bieber has come a long way from the clean-cut Canadian 15-year-old who wooed teenage girls the world over. The pop star is declaring his bad boy reputation one tattoo after another, and his recent choice of inked art directly appeals to his Korean fans.
The Canadian singer avowed his love for Korea, posting on Instagram on March 25 a photo of his new Korea-inspired tattoo, accompanied with the caption “I love you Korea.” The image reveals a traditional Korean Hahoe mask tattooed in black ink, with his name inscribed below in Korean, 비버, which is pronounced “bee-buh.” Close enough.
Popular Toronto-based Korean tattooist, Seunghyun Jo, inked the tattoos for his fellow Canadian, and also shared a photo of the two on his Instagram. He said, “Thanks @justinbieber for inviting me to your studio! It was a long night of tattooing you but worth it! See you soon brotha you are crazy talented.”
Reactions from fans (and non-fans alike) were mixed. Obviously, hardcore Beliebers were unflinchingly supportive of their favorite pop star, leaving a slew of positive comments on his Twitter and Instagram account, like “I love you” and “obsessed”. South Korean fans, especially, are enthusiastic; one Korean Instagrammer commented, “omo yesss South Korea all the way man!”
However, more negative remarks are mixed in, with some fans disapproving of his tattoo spree, pleading him to stop. Others insult the singer, saying he is nowhere near Asian pop star level.
One disgruntled reader writes, “Ugh, gosh. I bet he’s just doing that because everyone knows that kpop is going to be the next big thing around the world and he’s trying to get on the korean’s good side so he can get “positive comments” about him and all that crap.”
They continue, “비버…more like 바보”, the latter phrase translating to “stupid” in Korean. Positive and negative comments aside, let’s be honest—the Canadian pop star had that particular play on words coming.