What is a mukbang? Do you take part in it? Is it something you would do? Well, the answer to all of these questions you may have is: yes! It has recently taken the world by storm with its dramatic increase in popularity. Shockingly, it actually has an origin within its meaning. It originated in Korea back in 2010, and it’s a combination of two Korean words, “muk-ja” (eating) and “bang-song” (broadcast), hence its whole purpose which is to record yourself eating a substantial portion of food and upload it for people to enjoy; sounds kind of odd so a further explanation is needed.
Pronounced “muck-bong” it has been trending topic in the last months. Like many YouTube sensations, challenges are made out of almost anything nowadays and you can probably guess that this fad has definitely risen up to be what is called: The Mukbang Challenge. YouTubers have been popping up with videos of them collecting a large amount of food to then completely consume in front of their audience, while simultaneously talking about the most random things, such as their day, current events, etc. After doing some inside research and actually putting myself in front of a screen of people eating food for several hours, I noticed there are several sub-sets within the community. Some people simply take their viewers to drive-thru restaurants and will eat in their car and talk, while others will have a complete set-up of what they are eating. It’s almost comparable to the “haul” videos, except with food. There is also another community of “mukbangers” that utilize their skills of obnoxiously eating in front of a camera for the purpose of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response,) which has been a rising trend as well.
Not only have mukbangs been watched by people who enjoy the ASMR sounds or to simply watch their favorite YouTubers stuff their faces for no reason, but there has also been a discovery that people with eating disorders are turning to these videos for psychological help. In other words, they watch the videos to see if it will prevent them from engaging in binge eating. This community is composed by people of all shapes and sizes, so you wonder if this lifestyle can be healthy for someone. It has been a continuous argument on whether it is healthy and some claim for their own personal and mental health that it is. Some even say that they are pushing past the “social norms” of society by becoming “mukbangers.”
After watching these kinds of videos, I can say that some are actually entertaining. Rumor has it that a professional mukbanger can make thousands of dollars a month so we can see why people would be willing to try it. However, putting your body through that kind of stress every day just for fun is something you have to think twice about. If you have never given mukbangs a try, you might want to watch one the next time you have a minute to kill as it will for sure entertain you.
By Zack Archer