I wouldn’t say that we’re over-the-top, dedicated health enthusiasts at Bourke Accounting, but we try to stay active and eat sensibly. In the break room, bottled water and granola bars share space with cookies and chips; we follow the old “everything in moderation” credo. During our staff lunch meetings, no one gorges themselves and no one talks around mouthfuls of food. We are civilized.
It is perhaps because of this that I’ve been sheltered from some of the scarier aspects of society. I am not naïve and I know that there are some questionable trends available on the internet, but I just found out about something that leaves me perplexed (well, perplexed and a little ill):
Mukbang is a social media genre that originated in South Korea. The word itself is a combination of two Korean words: “mukja,” meaning “let’s eat” and “bang song,” meaning “broadcast” (Menshealth.com). People film themselves eating food. That’s it. Sometimes they interact with the audience, sometimes, they just eat quietly. It is believed that this movement has become so popular because, in Korea, it’s not common for people to go to restaurants by themselves, as “dining is a social activity” (Menshealth.com). When forced to eat at home alone, people were lonely. With mukbang, the audience can kind of pretend that they’re sharing a meal with another person.
Like with most things, Americans have put their own spin on this practice. While Korean mukbangers eat large quantities of food, the Americans bring it to an entirely new level. Take, for example, Youtuber Erik Lamkin. A few years ago, Mr. Lamkin engaged in “The 100,000 Calorie Challenge.” In a span of 100 hours, Lamkin consumed, as the title suggests, 100,000 calories (Insider.com). Keep in mind that an average 24-year old should be eating about 2,800 calories per day. And, of course, American mukbangers seem to seek out the unhealthiest, greasiest food imaginable.
I took one for the team recently and watched a few American mukbangers in action. These are not well-mannered and dignified eaters. Food flies out of mouths, there’s slurping, there’s the licking of fingers…there is also non-stop commentaries on just how good the food is. Oddly, what makes the above my nightmare, is one of the biggest reasons people love these videos. Many audience members report that they find the loud smacking, chewing, crunching (arrgh! You get it) very relaxing (Mashed.com).
And does being a mukbanger pay? You betcha – popular mukbangers “can earn nearly $100,000 a year” (Insider.com). 100K to slather the pinnacle of artery clogging food across your face on a daily basis? Right. Everything’s totally clear now. That money will come in handy: side effects of mukbanging include “weight gain, heart disease and diabetes” (Mashed.com).
In a hungry world, it’s distasteful that people force-feed themselves huge quantities for the amusement of the masses. Also, a moment of fame isn’t worth destroying the body or promoting seriously bad eating habits to impressionable audiences. What happened to good old-fashioned movie stars?
If you walk in with a big bag of mukbanger money, your Bourke Accounting tax preparers and bookkeepers can assist you. Bourke Accounting experts, while maybe not witnessing your craft, still know how to keep you on the good side of the IRS. In addition, and if you should ever want to try a different line of work, your Bourke Accounting pro can offer advice concerning your future endeavors.
Written by Sue H.