I don’t know about you, but I love to eat. I could happily munch my way through a family size meal deal and still have room for more. If calories and the risk of heart disease weren’t in the equation, I would be content to eat nothing but fast food for the rest of my life.
So you can only imagine my joy when I discovered that eating an insane amount of greasy food is now an actual job which pays cold hard cash.
The trend, known as ‘Mukbang’, has taken YouTube by storm as hot women and men gorge themselves on fried foods in front of the camera.
Of course, food challenges are not a new phenomenon on YouTube. The need to eat in excess for views has existed since the birth of the video-sharing website. However, ‘Mukbang’ isn’t your typical Man v. Food challenge…
Check out the video below to see a typical example of mukbang:
Instead, the videos feature a host – who is typically a young and attractive woman – chatting informally to the camera as they eat. If it wasn’t for the screen that divides you, you could easily feel as though you were relaxing with a friend.
So how do the creators of these videos make money? Well, they monetize the content which in turn generates them big bucks for mukbang videos because they are watched by millions of people.
Trisha Paytas, for example, is a 29-year-old YouTube star who boasts 3.5 million subscribers and over a billion views collectively on her videos.
In particular, it is Paytas’ mukbang videos which are her most popular, garnering hundreds of thousands of views – sometimes millions.
In her mukbang videos, Trisha will consume gluttonous meals from fast food chains such as KFC, McDonald’s, Dominos, The Cheesecake Factory, Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A. She will eat them whilst chatting with her large audience about any topic she chooses.
In other videos, Paytas will use a microphone to enhance the sound of her chewing. This is where things become quite niche because mukbang is a trend popular with fetishists who are aroused by the sound of someone chewing noisily.
Those who have a food fetish will pay hundreds, in some cases thousands, of dollars to simply gain access to exclusive clips of people eating. In other cases, fetishists will buy food for a YouTuber to eat live on camera.
It’s an incredibly lucrative venture if you’re happy to record yourself eating online in a seductive and messy manner.
One mukbang broadcaster who goes by the name of ‘Fitness Fairy’ claims to make $4,000 per week uploading videos of herself eating on camera. Meanwhile, 14-year-old South Korean mukbang star, BJ Patoo claims to have make $1,500 per night.
For anyone who adores food, the idea that you could generate thousands of dollars by doing something as natural as eating is very tempting. But mukbang is certainly an acquired taste (no pun intended).
Could you chow down on 10,000 calories whilst the camera rolls? Or would you rather tuck into your Tater Tots in the comfort of your own home and hope that nobody ever sees you? I think I’ll stick with the latter.