Hungry for dinner porn?

Hungry for dinner porn?

Food rules on social media.

The Internet is awash with snaps of all kinds of food, from the most basic breakfast to deliciously lavish dinners.

But a trend in South Korea is taking the love for food further.

Classed as "dinner porn" by some South Korean lifestyle blogs and publications, it is more commonly known as "mok-bang"- a term created from the Korean words for "eating" and "broadcast".

That is exactly what it is - people eating, broadcast over the Internet.

The trend took off in September on South Korean video-sharing network Afreeca TV.

There, users (also known as Broadcast Jockeys) stream live videos of themselves eating heaps of food while chatting with their thousands of viewers.

The videos are also uploaded onto their YouTube channels soon after the meal. Some videos are so popular that they attract 30,000 views each.

One famous mok-bang broadcast jockey goes by the moniker The Diva.

Every night at 8pm, from the confines of a toy-filled room (a plush Doraemon is a permanent background feature), the online celebrity begins eating.

She eats copious amounts of food, from traditional Korean fare to western dishes like deep fried chicken wings, steak, pasta and pizzas, all in one sitting.

She spends an average of US$3,000 (S$3,800) on food a month and each "meal" lasts about three hours.

But while the amounts sound extreme, the experience is quite sedate.

There are no sexy outfits for this "food porn". And the food is eaten at a steady pace, not wolfed down.

While The Diva says she enjoys eating for her viewers, it has a downside too.

She told South Korean daily The Kyunghyang Shinmun that she has gained almost 10kg since she started her "mok-bang" venture.

However, those who cannot equate her petite appearance with the amount of food she consumes have suggested a situation similar to bulimia where the sufferer will eat huge amounts only to purge the food from their body.

To refute rumours that she vomits after her broadcasts end, The Diva extended her live streaming from one hour a day to four hours nightly, interacting with her fans and viewers while eating.

Other popular broadcast jockeys include Lebi and Goddessju, who have also gained popularity with "mok-bang".

Due to their voracious appetites, these food vloggers can spend up to US$5,000 (S$6300) per month dining in front of their computers.

But then these videos are not produced simply for the fun of it.

Afreeca TV allows viewers to buy virtual currency known as Star Balloons. These can be gifted to their favourite broadcast jockeys and the virtual currency converted into real money.

The Diva reportedly earns a few thousand dollars per month just from followers' Star Balloon gifts.

On why she started mok-bang in the first place, The Diva told The Kyunghyang Shinmun: "I felt bored and I needed a hobby, so I decided to do it."

For her, it's a win-win situation, in spite of the weight gain.

However, as popular - or as lucrative - as the trend is in South Korea, local blogger Peggy Heng does not wish for it to take off here.

The 24-year-old said: "It is a silly trend and very unhealthy. I wouldn't do it just to attract more traffic online."


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