Youtube’s Mukbang Trend: Why?
These past two years have been overwhelming for anyone with a social media account, and YouTube has provided an excellent escape for news-induced stress. While there are many political and news-related videos on YouTube, there are no shortages of cat videos, skits, and most importantly, Mukbangs.
South Koreans coined the term Mukbang, a word that literally translates to “food broadcast.” Out of the millions of videos on YouTube, Mukbangs, or videos of people recording themselves as they eat obscene amounts of food, are becoming increasingly popular amongst viewers.
Favorite YouTubers such as Jeffree Star, Trisha Paytas, and Shane Dawson have filmed themselves indulging in both gossip and an assortment of fast food, and have earned millions of views in doing so.
While the concept of a Mukbang video sounds simple in theory, the content of these videos can vary. Some YouTubers choose to film their journey through the drive-thru and record themselves as they place their large order at fast food establishments such as Mcdonalds or Taco Bell. Others begin their video with food already presented on the dinner table. Some choose to Mukbang alone; some collab with other popular YouTubers.
The types of food shown in the videos can differ as well; some eat fast food or home-cooked meals, while others follow a theme, such as Nickelodeon star-turned-Youtuber Josh Peck, who filmed a Mukbang titled “Childhood Snacks Mukbang.”
While many adults may scratch their head at the popularity of watching videos of people eating food, Mukbangs bring a sense of comfort and distraction to those who watch.
Many fans of Mukbangs claim that the videos possess an element of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), and watch the videos for the sound of people chewing or crunching. While some may watch Mukbangs for the ASMR, many view these types of videos as pure entertainment.
Emily, a student at Southwestern, claims, “They are just entertaining to watch. I think they’re calming. I feel like I’m talking to someone else.”
It’s not difficult to understand why viewers would find these sorts of videos calming. In the midst of all of the chaos in the world, Mukbangs can serve as a great form of diversion from the constant stream of news we are so often bombarded by.
Simply put, it’s hard to think about all the wrong in the world when you’re watching someone scarf down more than 100 chicken nuggets.