People are paying to watch women eat huge amounts of food in new online 'fetish'
The internet sure is a strange place. In the latest online craze, people are shelling out their hard-earned cash to watch people stuff themselves with inordinate amounts of food.
The trend, which has taken YouTube by storm, originated in South Korea. It is known as "mukbang" (pronounced "mook-bong"), and its proponents are often branded a "sexy turn on" by their fans.
The term comes from combining the Korean word for eating "muok-da" and broadcast "bang song".
And stars of the trend - who can make as much as £7,000 per month - will spend hours eating 4,000 calories' worth of junk food for their adoring audiences'.
It's a phenomenon which has even reached the USA and UK.
And apparently, viewers say watching the videos helps relieve stress. "I prefer the seafood, crab and ramen videos," mukbang fan, Sammy Bosch, told Today. "While watching others eat rich food you can fantasise that you are eating it. For me, I associate food with pleasure. So, watching these videos makes me feel happy."
And it's certainly had financial benefits for the "mukbangers".
Christi Caston, who hails from Texas, and posts to the channel, YummyBitesTV, says "I mukbang every day, and I make a comfortable living from it." In fact, she claims to make twice as much cash as she did working an ordinary office job.
However, it's unclear whether the monetary gains make up for the physical pitfalls. Speaking to Men's Health, Perry, a mukbanger - who has a channel called Nikocado Avocado - revealed that he's been suffering erectile problems after engaging with the trend.
"I started having erection problems," he said. "It never happened until I started doing mukbangs. I can’t fall asleep because I feel like my digestive tract is on fire, and then I’m running to the bathroom. I’m sitting on the toilet crying."
“I know it sounds like an easy job. You sit. You gorge. You make thousands of dollars. Whee, it’s so much fun," Perry continued, but that's allegedly far from the truth.
"It’s a full time job. I’m the business," he asserted, before detailing his daily treks to the supermarket, the process of cooking, setting up, filming and, finally, cleaning up all the mess.
But Perry is still not willing to quit YouTube, asserting that he may start vlogging his weight loss journey if the mukbanging ever gets too much.
"I’ve worked hard at building this audience. I would never throw it away," he concluded.