South Korean Food Fad: Watch Me Eat Trend Popularizes Gastronomic Voyeurism
Conventional wisdom dictates that it's impolite to have another person watch you eat without offering them any food... but in the latest craze coming out of South Korea, it's not only quite alright, it's a new craze on YouTube!
According to News.com.au, Park Seo-yeon is known as "The Diva" in the community, and makes about $9,000 U.S. a month. As an end result of these earnings, she has quit her job as a consultant. (And who wouldn't, really...)
The concept is simple: Park prepares food. She turns on her computer and logs on to the Internet (South Korea, so you know, has one of the best Internet connectivities in the world). Then, for up to three hours a day, all she does is eat.
Viewers send her virtual bubbles that translate into cash, compliments, or even requests.
The technical term for this fad is "gastronomic voyeurism," and near-perfectly follows Rule 34 of the Internet ("if it exists on the Internet, there is a porn of it, no exceptions"). While it hasn't been blatantly advertised as a porn, it IS advertised as a fetish. Besides, what would be the point of just watching someone eat, were it not for the fact that you have some fetish for it?
It's only a matter of time before similar concepts crop up about food in South Korea, and that Park gets some competition from her fellow South Koreans. While this certainly isn't the first time a crazy trend has invaded YouTube, it's definitely one of the strangest trends to ever become a popular craze. Of all things to watch people doing, I can't think of anything more boring than watching someone eat.
Nevertheless, the concept is so unique, Reuters made a video news report about it, which you can watch HERE.