White ladies and food pranks on social media

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Mukbang refers to the Korean YouTube trend of watching foreigners eat large amounts of food. This translates to “Food Broadcast” or “Food Show” and usually features beautiful people eating a LOT. Like, a lot a lot.

These videos sometimes involve ASMR (Auto Sensory Meridian Response.) It is the soothing and pleasant feeling and tingling sensation that some people experience when listening to specific sounds. And they can dip their toes in fetish too.

Of course, here in America we love to take whatever they do overseas and make it ours, for better or for the worst. Welcome to the world of stuffing kitchen hack videos. If you’ve so far managed to dodge these culinary parodies on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and pretty much everywhere else, videos are being served, congratulations. We are mainly talking about short videos of women demonstrating questionable recipes in questionable hygienic conditions, like this one.

Sometimes the recipes are oversized, like the video above posted to the Josh and Lisa Facebook channel. Sometimes these are recipes that include an inappropriate ingredient, like in this recipe that pairs ground beef, spaghetti, and nerd candy.

@gettishow

This is how you make Getti spaghetti 🍝 #minced meat #spaghetti #Pasta #Ground beef #envelope #ghetti #gettispaghetti #nerdscandy

♬ original sound – Getti

I refuse to believe that she enjoyed eating it, let alone served it to anyone. While the Getti Show TikTok doesn’t qualify as a prank account, if you watch its videos, there are a lot of pranks. That Josh and Lisa Channel? Warning labels on everything practically scream at you. So, really, we are not supposed to believe that this food will be eaten. It’s supposed to be funny and fun. But for whom? When a prank is carried out, there is a prankster and a prankster, and the audience. If we were meant to be the audience for these pranks, who is the recipient? It’s us too. We are both an audience and a prankster for these videos. Ha ha, isn’t it funny that someone wasted 10 pounds of food? OMG, you must watch this super gross video! Do you want to eat this? And content creators poke fun at themselves to the bank about our clicks, likes and shares.

When you watch Korean Mukbang videos, there is a certain art. Food, no matter how much, has been prepared (or purchased) to be eaten and enjoyed. And while there may be a feeling of astonishment watching this amount of food eaten, there is also a feeling of appreciation. A real recipe has been followed, the food is cooked to perfection and is laid out on the table in a pleasant way. There is beauty there. These American videos are not meant to celebrate the meaning of beauty, but to celebrate the grotesque and our attraction to it. It’s about the excess and the fact that everything here is disposable. Especially if you are one of those upper middle class white women with free time and a kitchen island with a marble countertop.


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