Christian YouTube 'Mukbang' star Bethany Gaskin shares love of God and food with massive audience
(EEW Magazine News) A Christian woman has amassed millions of followers online binging on massive amounts of ramen, burgers, chicken wings and seafood boils brimming with crab and lobster.
Bethany Gaskin in suburban Cincinnati is known for further popularizing a South Korea-rooted video trend known as “mukbang” through YouTube and Instagram.
The 44-year-old, who has 2.2 million subscribers to her Bloveslife channel on YouTube, is a top earner, clearing more than $1 million in ad money as she eats her way through seafood boils, ginormous servings of barbecue ribs and other drool-worthy spreads.
Gaskin prays daily before eating and uses her video platform not just to enjoy copious amounts of food but also to share her Christian faith, Bible principles, and motivation for others seeking to be successful in their chosen vocation.
Her husband and manager Nate Gaskin often appears in videos alongside his wife, as well as the pairs’ two sons.
Gaskin recently put out a Cajun butter dipping sauce, Bloves Smackalicious, and counts multiple celebrities among her legion of 1.1 million followers on Instagram.
“I started off trying to cook in videos,” Gaskin said. “I cook really well, then people wanted to see me eat. I unapologetically eat whatever I want, however I want, food dripping down my chin.”
Gaskin has some advice for critics who say the excess of mukbang promotes an unhealthy lifestyle: “If you don’t like it, don’t watch.”
The word mukbang is a mashup of the Korean words for “eating” and “broadcast,” translating in English to “eatcast.” Livestreams in South Korea started sprouting up around 2009. It didn’t take long for fans to catch on and YouTubers to cash in.
“The core principle behind mukbang is that eating is a social activity,” said Victor Chang, marketing manager for the South Korea-based fried chicken restaurant chain Bonchon. It’s “a way of connecting people through meals even when they are miles apart.”
The mukbang phenomena is not focused on fancy food. It’s “more about the `treat yourself’ moment and the simple joy of casual conversation over a no-frills, delicious meal,” Chang said.
Gaskin surely has a strong connection with her base of supporters and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.