When Andy Warhol predicted that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, he got the idea right, but his time frame was way off. For the past decade, we’ve seen a democratization of celebrity; fame has become more attainable, and yet more powerful, than ever. The internet operates under a village mindset, one in which formerly isolated niches can grow into hyper-specialized global phenomena. There are pop culture deities for singing, dancing, and acting, but also for mastication, gory makeup, and even the soothing sounds of Silly Putty. But who are these everyday people-turned-blue-chip-mega-influencers? And how does this happen? We tracked a few of them down to find out.
Blove, better known as Bloveslife2 on Instagram, is a star of the originally Korean subgenre of vlogging called Mukbang, which consists of mostly female stars eating gargantuan portions of food on camera. She is particularly known for her seafood boils and her love of hot sauce.
“When I started on YouTube in January 2017, my intention was just to do cooking videos and probably a couple mukbang a week. Now, I do a video a day and have hundreds and hundreds of viral videos with millions and millions of views. Seafood is the most popular. People love the cracking sound of the crab. In my videos, I look like I have a maximum amount of food, but I don’t eat all that’s in front of me. If I had two little bones of ribs, no one’s going to click on that. I do eat vegetables, but not on camera. I don’t know why, but they don’t want to see me eating a salad. Before this, I was making circuit boards for the military. Now I’m putting my life out there for the world to judge me. I think this is going to be popular forever.”