Digital Trend Korea: Gastronomic Voyeurism AKA Live Food Porn D Lee Culture, Current In a country that has become one of the most wired countries in the world, the trend of watching someone eat large amounts of food through live streams has continued to remain strong. These streams are known to the Western world as “gastronomic voyeurism” or “food porn,” in which thousands of users will actively watch a person eat various foods, ranging from fried chicken to a lobster dinner and everything in between. In Korea, however, the word they use to describe these live streams is ‘meok bang,’ which is literally translated into ‘eat room.’ The people who host these streams are known to netizens as “Broadcasting Jockeys” (also known as BJs), who stream their eating habits for a few hours a day on popular streaming site Afreeca TV. The Diva: Sitting (and Eating) Pretty Park Seo-yeon (34) is a well known BJ who is called The Diva. Each day The Diva prepares for her streams by cleaning her studio (her living room), doing her hair and makeup, and preparing a few dishes herself that she will eat on air. During the stream, she eats with gusto and makes everything look quite delicious. However, she also spends a great deal of time engaging with the audience as well. Answering questions and thanking audiences for their ‘Balloons’ and ‘Chocolates,’ an online currency on Afreeca TV that equates to real money. This venture has proven to be quite lucrative for The Diva, as she is reported to be making $9,300 a month from her streams. Gold Coupon: Food Challenges! As the gastronomic voyeurism trend continues to rise, so has the number of BJs. Each BJ has their own varying gimmick to make their shows different or more entertaining. Gold Coupon is one such BJ who races against the clock to eat a pre-determined number of dishes, such as 4 orders of fried rice in 8 minutes! SaChaeUpJa: Over Excited and Perhaps Crazy Another one of these BJs is SaChaeUpJa, who uses a maniacal laugh before, during, and after eating to either freak his viewers out or make them laugh, but will probably look borderline psychotic to most. This one you just need to see for yourself. Although it may seem odd to some, many have claimed that gastronomic voyeurism is a way to bring back communal eating to a country of now working professionals who often eat alone. Others claim that watching a BJ’s stream helps them with dieting, as eating vicariously helps them fight the hunger. What do you think? Did you enjoy watching these people eat?