Vlogger Charna Rowley Quit Her Job to Eat Massive Amounts of Food on YouTube as Mukbang Star
By now it’s not even surprising that people are making money doing strange things on YouTube. But this newest trend might be the weirdest one of all.
Most people haven’t heard of mukbang, but it’s all the rage in south Asia and is gradually spreading across the globe, as all YouTube trends tend to do. Usually, it involves a person live-streaming themselves eating massive quantities of food, sometimes up to 10,000 calories in one sitting. And now one popular Vlogger is turning it into a full-time career.
London resident Charna Rowley, 22, left her admin job to hopefully become the next mukbang star.
Rowley eats meals meant for multiple people
There is no specified formula for what Rowley eats during her broadcasts, but since becoming popular, she’s starting to take suggestions and work with different restaurants to promote their menus. Typically, Rowley will consume extra-large pizzas, Chinese takeout meals meant to feed a family of four, fast food, and anything else she can dream up. She usually eats more than 5,500 calories in one sitting.
Part of the reason Rowley quit her career was to spend more time planning out her meals and making her broadcasts look more enticing.
Fans can’t stop watching Rowley eat
There’s something oddly hypnotic about watching Rowley eat — at least for thousands of her biggest fans. As Rowley told Daily Mail, “I have over 40,000 viewers, with about 5,000 subscribed over all platforms and they can request all sorts.”
So far, the 22-year-old has spent around $1,200 on food to make her videos. But the more followers she attracts, the more opportunity she’ll have for sponsorships from restaurants who also want to cash in on the trend.
She works out to balance the huge meals
“’When I visit the gym, I mainly go for the cardio and I go at least three times a week,” Rowley explains. “I have the negative ones, telling me how fat I am, how I could be really pretty if I try not to eat so much but most of the time I just don’t answer.”
She admits she weighs 16 stone (224 pounds) but feels very healthy.
“I enjoy it and it gives me confidence – and now that I can monetise my channel and really respond to people’s requests, it can become a full time career move…It’s all about finding balance, and if the worst I get called is chubby – I don’t care enough about the trolls to stop doing it.”
Charna Rowley wants to be the first mukbang star in the United Kingdom
Despite the popularity of mukbang in some countries, so far the trend is still very new in Europe and the United States. But that could be changing soon. YouTube celebrities are making millions doing simple things like brushing their hair, opening toys, and other daily habits. Why not eating?
It’s unclear if this trend will spread to the United States or if it’s a healthy long-term career for people like Rowley. But she’s optimistic about it.
“My mum Marsh… she initially saw it as a hobby, but once she saw my passion, and the following I was managing to get, she changed her mind,” Rowley says.
“She might have once seen it as a back-up plan but now she thinks I should go for it, whilst I’m young and I have the opportunity.”