That Vice Documentary is Completely Wrong About Mukbang
It's so satisfying to watch.
by Taylor Sweet
Mukbang, or mokbang (먹방) -- you've probably heard of it by now, even if you've never watched one or don't even know what it means. The term translates to "eating cafe," an online broadcast in which the host eats (usually) a large amount of food in front of a camera while audiences watch him or her eat. Mukbangs went viral in 2015, and the trend has spread globally. People now broadcast (and watch) from all around the world. Vice released a documentary that year in which reporter Charlet Duboc meets some mukbang stars, also known at "BJs" in Korea, or Broadcast Jockeys, in order to understand why people were watching other people eat on the Internet. The documentary, which tries to paint mukbang as a fetish of some sort, features a strange, eerie soundtrack and even goes so far as to say that mukbang translates to "food porn." The documentary has been viewed over 3 million times on YouTube.
Certainly, then, a lot of people might be misinformed on what mukbang really is. The host usually tries to entertain the audience in some way: eating insane amounts of food, eating weird foods, or just by exaggerating their eating motions. I can understand why this sounds strange to people who are not familiar with the concept, but it's just like watching a vlog or someone apply makeup on YouTube. For me personally, I watch mukbangs to pass time, just like I watch vlogs or random tutorials to pass time. There is nothing else going on here. A lot of people watch Mukbang while they are cooking and eating dinner alone, so that they feel like they have someone there eating with them. We've all had those nights when everyone is busy and we have no one to eat with! In Korea, the biggest BJs are... BJ The Diva
BJ Fitness Fairy
Mukbang was also featured on the popular YouTube channel,
Try watching mukbang for yourself and you'll see how entertaining and charming it really is. I promise you'll get hooked!