At first glance Facebook star Showry’s videos may seem insane, but they follow Korea’s ‘mukbang’ trend of eating for audiences
We can’t help what we love on the Internet. Some people obsess over cat videos. Some can’t stop digesting celebrity gossip. And millions of streamers love Showry, the odd Korean woman whose Facebook videos have caught our lo-fi imagination. Showry (who has inundated YouTube over the past few years with goofy comedy videos) has found fame by setting her camera up in a non-descript hallway and filming herself doing some pretty wild stuff: rubbing blue paint on herself (flirtatiously) to look like the character “Sad” from Pixar’s Inside Out, making “juice” by stuffing fruit (provocatively) into an unplugged blender, and reenacting the pottery scene from Ghost by rubbing dirt (sexily) on a mannequin while wearing a risqué blue dress.
But viewers might not be understanding Showry’s intentions. The videos partly mimic a particular form of Korean camming called mukbang, where someone, often a pretty girl, livestreams themselves zealously devouring often large amounts of food. Some mukbang stars (like the famed Aebong-ee) purport to make a decent living wage on platforms that work much like camgirl sites. In a video posted to YouTube before her rocket to fame, Showry explains her motivations in Korean, admitting she only saw pornography for the first time this year. It was this that inspired her to make videos that lampoon mukbang and camming, calling her work “feminist shock comedy,” and hoping that it changes the stereotype of the oversexualized Asian female.
Interestingly, a second mukbang mocker called Bread Face showed up on Instagram a few months ago with videos of herself smushing her face into various types of bread (challah, pita, Kaiser roll) while Drake or The Weeknd play in the background. Bread Face seems to not only be riffing on mukbang, but also “crushing” videos, in which an often anonymous person steps on an object (a bug, a plastic bottle) while wearing high heels or skateboarding sneakers.
Call it a fad, but Showry has officially achieved bona fide viral status. She’s been featured on Maxim, Cosmo, and The Daily Mail. Her top video, where she wraps herself up in green saran wrap to look like a mermaid tail and sits in a fridge and screeches along “Under the Sea” while munching on octopus and making out with a fish, has 21 million views. It’s impressive stuff considering that it’s meant as an irreverent comment on Internet sexuality, and how Asian women are portrayed in media.