It's South Korea's new internet trend called "mok-bang," a mashup of the Korean words for "eating" and "broadcast." Park Seo-yeon or better known as "The Diva", cooks elaborate dishes and then spends 4-6 hours a night eating and talking over her webcam. People around the world can tune in and chat as well as send her virtual gifts. The Diva makes more than $9000 a month and quit her job at a consulting firm. It's been referred to, in the South Korean press, as food porn and it's taking over. The Diva starts eating at 8-9pm and can consume,
"two medium pizzas. Other nights, it's thirty fried eggs and a box of crab legs or five packets of instant noodles. Then, there was the night she ate twelve beef patties, twelve fried eggs, three servings of spicy pork kimchi soup and a salad."She can spend anywhere from $3000-$6000 a month on food alone. Since beginning her mok-bang broadcasts she's gained over twenty pounds although she's told the media that she doesn't regret it at all. South Korean media outlets have attempted to offer some sort of reasoning behind the food porn phenomenon with theories ranging from the fact that people don't like eating alone to enjoying conversation to simply enjoying watching others eat. There is some sort of voyeurism taking place as these broadcasters are essentially being paid to be virtual dinner company for others. The question remains unanswered however. Perhaps these paid eaters are filling a void in South Korean culture where company is at a premium and dieting is controlling. This is not a pie eating contest, there is no prize. Is there such a huge gap that paying to watch others eat has become the only possible way of filling it?