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Bizarre South Korean Sensation: Girls Binge Eating Online

by Kristen Sarah

(Image via YouTube)

What if you were told that you could make thousands of dollars a month eating excessive amounts of food in front of a virtual audience?

Sound unbelievable? Apparently it’s not in South Korea, where stuffing your face in front of a webcam is the newest online fad.

Eating broadcasts, called muk-bang in Korean, are online channels that live-stream people eating enormous servings of food, while chatting with those who are watching.

One woman, who has the popularity of Jenna Marbles in the ‘muk-bang’ world, claims to make $9, 300 a month from inhaling food of all kinds. Every Monday through Sunday, Park Seo-Yeon, a.k.a. The Diva, eats and chats with her fans for four to six hours. She eats everything from several large pizzas to a shocking amount of beef in one sitting. Taking one look at this beauty, you’ll quickly conclude that her metabolic system must run at Mach speed.

The Diva says that her viewers have different reasons for tuning into her live broadcast, but the best comment she’s ever received was from a fan thanking her for helping them overcome anorexia. Many viewers claim that these easting broadcasts help them with their diets as they feel enough satisfaction from watching others eat. Others share that if it weren’t for these broadcasts, they would spend the evening eating alone. Some viewers are hospital patients who claim they feel joy from watching someone else eat all the things they can’t.

So how do these online food connoisseurs make money?

Although all channels can be viewed for free, fans can voluntarily make donations. Viewers can send money in the form of virtual tokens through the hosting website, which can then be cashed in. Afreeca TV, which is the site that hosts The Diva’s channel, allows viewers to buy and send virtual “star balloons, ” which translate into money.

Now, before you make any career changes, be aware that the service is currently limited to South Korea—but there are plans to expand it to other countries.

What do you think of this bizarre phenomenon? Would you pay to watch someone eat?