Mukbang, meokbang, muk-bang– what are they, where are they from, why are they important, and why should I care? I could just tell you to google the definition if you didn’t know, but I don’t want to be “that guy,” so just keep reading. Basically, a muk-bang is a type of video where a single person eats enough food to feed a small African village while conversing with themselves as if their audience is actually there with them- offering advice, asking questions, pausing to wait for a response they are never going to hear, and talking about their day. Muk-bangs became popular in South Korea in the 2010’s.
They started off as a form of entertainment in Japan and are broadcasted in real time. I guess you could call muk-bangs the Japanese equivalent of Americas Food Network channel. Their rise to fame didn’t happen in America until the middle of 2016. I totally get it, muk-bangs are a form of entertainment in both American and Japanese culture, but they morphed into two different things and are watched for different reasons based on the location of where they are being viewed. Continuing this post, I will be talking about how muk-bangs have developed here in America.
People enjoy watching muk-bangs for a variety of different reasons. Personally, I watch them because I genuinely love sitting down and eating a meal with some of my favorite YouTubers such as Trisha Paytas or KEEMI. I love watching them eat, it helps me eat less because when I see someone like Trish or KEEMI eat a lot of food, it gives me that satisfaction like I am the one that ate the food and feel full. Also, let’s be honest here, who wouldn’t want to live vicariously through someone and feel like you just ate five big macs, four large fries, two 10 piece nuggets, two apple pies, four medium drinks, and two chocolate milkshakes without taking in a single calorie.
Enough about me. Now, let’s talk about why they are so popping in America.
In America, muk-bangs have developed into a platform that draws people in with eating issues and gives them a safe place to talk about them. Commenting on vides or talking in group chats, people can share their similar stories, discuss how they fought and won their own personal battles with food, offer ideas to help those in need, and to just stay positive.
Famous YouTuber Erik TheElectric is a front runner when it comes to muk-bangs in the YouTube. Not only that, but he also knows what it’s like to not be happy with his body. Erik suffered with anorexia and states that making videos helped him to become more relaxed with food. Becoming famous by making muk-bangs didn’t only help him with his problems, but it gave him a forum, establish a following, and made it more possible for him to talk to people about his problems.
Muk-bangs are a super cool form of entertainment, but as you can see, they are much more than that. They have been widely recognized here in America for the amount of benefits they have. Some viewers feel full after watching them so it helps them with their diet’s. Other people, like me, like them because they enjoy eating meals with their favorite YouTubers. Even though all the other points I made are important, the most beneficial thing about a muk-bang is that they are a front runner when it comes helping people with eating disorders.
I highly suggest anyone that is reading this to go to YouTube and type in muk-bang. You won’t be disappointed.