This vlogger quit her full-time administrative job to sit on her duff and scarf caloric, grease-laden fast food for strangers online.
It’s an unorthodox career move, but 22-year-old Charna Rowley of the UK thinks it will pay off — and that she’ll become the next big thing on YouTube.
“I have over 40,000 viewers, with about 5,000 subscribed over all platforms and they can request all sorts,” Rowley tells Caters.
Like a wedding DJ, Rowley takes requests from viewers on what they want to see her consume, including a feast of Chinese takeout that could feed a family of four. A typical video will have her devouring about 5,500 calories in a single sitting, which she does twice a week.
“One of my first videos was a Pizza Hut one, where I ate two large pizzas and two sides, meaning the calories were … in the thousands,” she says.
Rowley is part of a bizarre gluttonous online movement called Mukbang, where viewers watch regular folks stuff their faces on YouTube while interacting with their audience. Started in South Korea about a decade ago, it has grown in popularity — especially among those who experience Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), or a tingling happy feeling associated with soft sounds.
Rowley has spent just about $1,200 on her videos, but hopes to parlay her hobby into a steady career. Her financial goals are unclear but, Bethany Gaskin — a 44-year-old Cincinnati-based mukbang star who sucks down shellfish — has reportedly made over $1 million from online advertisers.
“I enjoy it and it gives me confidence — and now that I can monetize my channel and really respond to people’s requests, it can become a full-time career move.”
The trick, according to Rowley, is confidence.’
“I’ve just got to show how confident I am. I might get something stuck in my teeth or around my mouth but people love how funny I am.”
Rowley currently weighs 224 pounds and hits the gym three times a week for cardio sessions, but her fitness goals are more in the mouth-moving department.
“My ultimate aim is to try and do the 10,000-calorie challenge,” she says.
And she’s not letting anyone get in the way of that goal: “I have the negative [comments], 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.”
In between feeding and filming, she is working part time as a warehouse assistant, and even has the blessing of her mother.
“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,” says Rowley. “She might have once seen it as a backup plan but now she thinks I should go for it, whilst I’m young and I have the opportunity.”
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