Mental Health Professionals

Why Can’t We Stop Watching Mukbangs?

Why Can’t We Stop Watching Mukbangs?

To eat without gaining weight is a desire that many of us hold within our hearts. The thousands of memes made on the concept stands as proof of this claim. In fact, eating is our most enjoyable biological need. That is the reason billion-dollar industries like McDonald’s and KFC exist. Can you imagine a dimension where you will get paid thousands of dollars for sitting down and eating? Sounds like a dream, right? Well, there is a group of content creators known as “Mukbangers” who get to live this dream.

Why can’t we stop watching Mukbangs?

Mukbangs were first introduced to the world by South Korean Broadcasting Jockeys (BJ), and it soon spread around the world like wildfire. The content is basically a person or multiple people eating copious amounts of food in one sitting. They are also wildly successful, gaining millions of followers on their Youtube channels. But why are Mukbangs so popular? What is so interesting about someone else eating?

When we watch Mukbangs, we see the creator indulging in the most enjoyable form of biological need without limits. We derive voyeuristic pleasure from watching them. It is, for intents and purposes, food porn. The Mukbangers seem to do what we cannot do, no matter how much we want to. Wanting them is almost like living vicariously through them. This is especially obvious in the type of food that the Mukbanger chooses to eat. Almost all Mukbangers unanimously eat junk food that is dripping with cheese, sugar, sodium, and fat. Just looking at them eat an entire cheezy Pizza and a tub of ice cream is enough to clog our hearts.

While some creators work out religiously and controls their diet when they are not on camera, some creators have gained an extreme amount of weight and experience health problems. These creators are reflective of the reality of what happens when you eat that much food. If the other creators are the fantasy, these creators are the consequence. We can see this disparity in the comment section of certain YouTubers like Nikocado Avacado and Trisha Paytas. A lot of people come to their channels to get discouraged from over-eating, and to stay on their healthy eating plans and diets. Watching these individuals makes the viewers feel better about themselves and their issues with food. Instead of living vicariously through them, the audience is glad they aren’t them.

There is another factor that adds to the attraction towards Mukbangers. It is the conversation. Most content creators talk to their audience while they eat. Another very famous formula in content creation on YouTube used to be storytimes. But Mukbangs are steadily taking their crown. These videos achieve exactly what the storytimes videos did with the addition of ungodly amounts of food, that is, establishing an emotional connection with their audience. The viewers are invested in the content creator’s life, and the connection feels personal. A lot of people who lack a friend to go to dinner with in real life would seek these content creators for comfort and companionship. Lonely people feel less lonely when their favorite Mukbanger tells them about their past and current life. That, dear reader, is the main attraction of Mukbangs.

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