By Jess Grieveson-Smith
A young woman is scoffing over 5,500 calories per meal in a bid to become a YouTube star.
From a Chinese takeaway for a family of four to two extra large pizzas and sides, Charna Rowley, 22, will eat anything her online fans request online.
Just under a year ago, the aspiring vlogger quit her full time admin job to design her very own eating challenges twice per week.
And despite weighing 16 stone, Charna insists her four gym sessions a week help keeps her health in check.
Charna said: “I have over 40k viewers, with about 5K subscribed over all platforms and they can request all sorts.
“One of my first videos was a Pizza Hut one, where I ate two large pizzas and two sides, meaning the calories were straight away in the thousands.
“I’ve had requests for the UK typical takeaways, so that’s why I’ve done videos buying from McDonald’s, Greggs and Pizza Hut.
“I’ll make a minimum of two full length videos, lasting just under half an hour each, a week, which can cost over £100.
To date, Charna’s most popular video has 46k views and is rising, with a typical Chinese takeaway on full display.
Setting up Snapchat to get even more requests, Charna started to try branded takeaways, and has now branched into doing smaller snippets on the different mediums to reach a larger following.
So far she’s spent just under £1K – but believes she’ll be able to break even for the taste of a successful eating career.
Charna added, “When I visit the gym, I mainly go for the cardio and I go at least three times a week.
“But my ultimate aim is to try and do the 10,000 calories challenge.
“I’ve just got to show how confident I am – I might get something stuck in my tooth or around my mouth but people love how funny I am.
“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.
“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.”
Charna – who is hoping to be the UK’s first Mukbang star – drew inspiration from the 2010 craze that began in South Korea but went global, involving people filming themselves eating food as they interact with their audience.
Combining it with ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, which is a pleasant feeling triggered most often by soft sounds, Charna has quickly amassed an army of followers over her social media sites, and regularly receives requests for what she should do next – and now is even beginning to earn from her strange hobby.
And as she enjoys eating and filming so much, she’s even willing to give up her job for it – now only working part time as a warehouse assistant so she can devote more time to her hobby.
Charna added, “I’ve now done giveaways and really started getting people involved with Mukbang.
“My mum Marsh, 45, works for Royal Mail, and 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.
“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.
“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’S CHINESE MUKBANG CALORIE COUNT (APROX)
CHINESE CHIPS; 850KL
CHICKEN CHOW MEIN; 500KL
PRAWN CRACKERS (BAG); 800KL
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN BALLS: 1500KL
SPECIAL FRIED RICE: 1000KL
SPRING ROLLS (ONE PORTION) : 1000KL
OVERALL CALORIE COUNT: 5,650