What is Mukbang?
Mukbang is a fad that started in South Korea where people film or broadcast themselves eating food (often large amounts of food) to create an “eating show.” Mukbang can be thought of as “performance eating.”
In many ways, Mukbang is like another fad ASMR. The main difference is where ASMR is all about whispering, Mukbang is all about eating.
Like with ASMR, videos range from people just preforming the act, to people interacting the audience while preforming the act.
Also like with ASMR, some viewers find it comforting, some find it hypnotic, some find it annoying, some find it funny, and others find more controversial types of enjoyment in it.
What Does Mukbang mean? Mukbang comes from a combination of the Korean words for eating (muk-ja) and broadcasting (bang-song). NOTE: I’ve seen these words written a few different ways, I’m assuming it is because people are translating Korean words into English.
When Did Mukbang become popular? Mukbang started in South Korea in 2009 and quickly became popular. It then started becoming popular in the west back in 2015 when it was introduced to westerners through streaming media like “the Fine Brothers” and news media like BBC.
YOUTUBERS REACT TO MUKBANG (Eating Shows). This video started the viral Mukbang trend in the west.
Why are there so many Mukbang videos, why is it so popular? Essentially South Koreans were making a lot of money creating streaming Mukbang videos, so then someone in the west made one, and then it caught on, and now they monetize well here, and the rest is history. People will create videos that monetize well, that is the rule of the internet.
Are Mukbang videos controversial? There are different types of broadcasters who make Mukbang videos. In most cases they are only controversial in that some people find them odd or annoying. Beyond that though, some suggest that some of the content is sexualized, and this has caused some YouTube videos (for example) to be taken down. The term “food porn” is sometimes used (for example in the title of the video below), but many would argue that there is nothing inherently sexual about Mukbang.
Where Can I watch Mukbang videos? YouTube is a good answer, if you are just generally interested in the topic, try one of the two pictures featured on this page.