What is mukbang? And why is it so popular?
What is mukbang?
BJs are definitely foodporn stars. BJs are regular Koreans with an extraordinary appetite. When you observe them eat, you will be affected not just by their appetite but also entertained. To exhibit this type of ability, Afreeca TV in Korea opened the door for these BJs to broadcast themselves while eating, a trend known as MUKBANG. Mukbang is a mix of two Korean terms 먹(meok) meaning eating and 방(bang) meaning broadcast, therefore if you broadcast yourself while eating, you may call yourself a BJ or Broadcast Jockey.
Mukbang is a live-streamed video in which viewers watch the host eat. Mukbang is distinguished by the amount of food devoured during the livestream - imagine banquet-sized servings, where fans sit and watch the one-person eating contest unfold. Mukbangers, or BJs (yeah, we'll get to it), may video themselves cooking food or ordering big amounts of takeaway food, then eating it in front of the camera, all for the entertainment of their live audience.
What does mukbang mean?
Mukbang is derived from the Korean term 먹방, (meokbang), which combines the words for "eating" (먹는 meongneun) and "broadcast" (방송 bangsong).
In layman's terms, the concept may be defined as a "eatcast." Collins Dictionary named "mukbang" one of their Words of 2020, recognizing its rising international prominence.
What is ASMR mukbang?
Online viewers may now watch a variety of live eating programs because the mukbang trend has been prevalent in South Korea since the early 2010s. These include:
- ASMR mukbang (autonomous sensory meridian response), it capitalizes on the growing practice of streamers recording sounds and noises that evoke a certain emotion in the viewer, such as loud chewing, crunching, and other sounds associated with eating a satisfying meal.
- Storytime mukbang, where the streamer introduces a totally unrelated subject while they eat, narrating a gripping tale, from true crime to YouTube gossip to actual happenings in real life.
- Interviews and collaboration mukbangs, where the streamer or YouTuber invites a guest onto their channel to join in on the mukbang. Even rapper Megan Thee Stallion recorded her own mukbang for YouTube, using the trend as promo for her new hot sauce.
Why is mukbang popular?
Watching people eat is nothing new, but mukbang is a little different from the typical Food Network program. Some people believe that one of the reasons mukbang became famous was because viewers tuned in to help replicate the social part of dining because eating out and mingling with others is a huge thing in South Korea, the trend's home nation.
At regular mealtimes, Korean BJs typically stream live so that their viewers may observe or participate in the meal. This contrasts with the international community of mukbangers, such as those living in the USA, who frequently pre-record their mukbang films and speak as they eat.
The massive amounts of food that the BJs eat are another major appeal. The typical individual would never consume 20,000 calories in one sitting, but thanks to mukbang, they may easily witness someone else doing it, just like they would with a traditional hot dog eating contest. On some level, mukbang videos could also help those who have a yearning for food. The louder, ASMR elements of the videos may be appealing to certain viewers who appreciate the sensations of eating.