Park Seo-yeon makes $9,000 a month just to eat dinner in front of a webcam.
That might sound like the beginnings of some sort of email scam or spam comment, but no. Nope. It's totally true.
The South Korean woman gets paid to let people watch her eat. It's actually called a "Meok-Bang" and the streams are quite common in South Korea.
Seo-yeon, "The Diva," makes an elaborate meal every night. Then she assembles her spread in front of her computer, fires up her webcam, and watches the dolla dolla bills roll in. Viewers pay her tips in online currency, "balloons," which she exchanges for real-world money.
But why do people pay to watch her eat? It's not as fetishist as it sounds.
Quite simply, people are lonely. Most of Seo-yeon's viewers are those who live alone but don't want to dine alone. The simple solution is to dine virtually with someone they consider a friend.
While they both eat their respective meals in their respective homes, Seo-yeon chats with the lonely people of the world, virtually sharing bites of her food with them.
Some of her other clients are those who are on diets or simply don't want to eat too late at night opting instead to live vicariously through seeing Seo-yeon dine on what is often a gourmet spread. Her webcast begins streaming at 8:00 p.m. and runs for several hours a night.
Seo-yeon used to be a South Korean marketing executive by day, but when the money started rolling in from the Meok-Bang streaming, she quit that job to focus on eating full time.
She, however, makes sure to savor her meals instead of hoovering down a 72-ounce steak in under 3 minutes.