What Are Mukbangs And Why Are They Becoming So Popular?

What Are Mukbangs And Why Are They Becoming So Popular?

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Imagine deriving immense happiness and satisfaction from watching a random person devouring an entire 12-inch cheese pizza with a side of chicken wings and refreshing glass of chilled cola. That is very much what the past time of most people in today’s time has become. To see the type, quantity and manner of how different people enjoy different meals, is slowly becoming more and more popular. Some find it unhygienic and indecent; others find it comforting and quirky. Here we delve into the fascinating realm of ‘mukbangs’ – a public spectacle and a cultural phenomenon all at once. 

What Is Mukbang? From SoKo To Screens 

“Mukbang,” which is a term that originated in South Korea and translates to “eating shows,” involves youtubers and other content creators posting videos of themselves eating different kinds of food. These videos first garnered traction in South Korea around 2010 and subsequently grabbed the attention of a wide audience. Over the past decade, this form of visual content has dabbled into a lot of interesting arenas – storytelling, exploration of the culinary world and even competition. 
Also Read : YouTuber Devours Massive Indian Veg Feast In Mukbang Video But Internet Is Divided

Photo Credit: iStock

Why Do We Watch Mukbang Videos?

Here are some reasons as to why mukbangs are becoming increasingly popular – 

1. Virtual Companionship 

A lot of viewers find a soothing connection while eating and watching mukbang videos simultaneously. Such a virtual company makes sure that they don’t have to dine alone, while also creating a shared eating experience.  

2. ASMR 

The sensory experience that these videos offer, the visual and auditory details, satisfying sounds, such as chewing, crunching and drinking, an array of food pleasant to the eyes, also leads to increased viewership. 

3. Varied Styles 

These mukbang videos provide the viewer with entertainment in the form of story-times, Q&As, exploration of a variety of global cuisines and dishes. This is specially captivating for those who take interest in cultural exploration. 

4. Imagination and Escapism

Mukbangs let the viewers have a broader imagination and also enables them to vicariously enjoy experiences from behind the screen. The sheer escapist tendency and the strife for rejuvenation that we possess, further pushes us towards watching such videos. 
Also Read : Viral Mukbang: Man Eats Large Thali Full Of Idlis In Car, Internet Says “That’s A Month’s Worth Of Idlis”

Does This Lead To Unrealistic Expectations?

In the recent times, many mukbangers have taken it up a notch and started recording themselves consuming extremely unhealthy food, often times in huge quantities just on the premise of securing more views and subscribers. Unrealistic eating challenges, binging competitions and videos about trying scarily weird food combinations are rapidly taking precedence. Apart from the health and hygiene concerns, the amount of food that is generally wasted by these content creators also puts the environment at stake.
In a nutshell, this wave of eating videos and mukbangs is not just a momentary fun, but an ever-increasing mania which, in the coming future, may take a whole other direction. Afterall, they are but an example of how simple, daily-life activities have the potential to transform into global phenomena. 

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