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Meet Hyunee Kim of HyuneeEats in Anaheim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hyunee Kim.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Ever since I was seven years old, I knew I wanted to be on camera. Even as a kid, I fell in love with all entertainment contents – videos, movies, social media, radio talk shows, etc.; anything that timelessly engaged with my life while teaching me something new. I majored in Journalism to pursue my dream to be an anchor/reporter and later started my own campus radio show on news and entertainment. Later, I also modeled for numerous clothing companies and had my own fashion blog channel. I came across my first Mukbang video in 2011, when it went viral in South Korea and since then I’ve always enjoyed watching Mukbang videos. Then about three years ago, while still working as a fashion blogger, I stumbled upon an English version of a Mukbang video and instantly knew that it was what I wanted to do; entertain people and share my love for spicy food. Since birth, I was gifted with the ability to intake copious amount of food and the ability to tolerate extreme amount of spiciness. My parents used to tell me I loved spicy food even at the age of two and had two-three bowls of food on a daily meal (they weren’t too happy with the amount of money it took to feed a child).

I got to where I am today because I am able to entertain my viewers while I devour pounds of extremely spicy noodles and not feel as much pain while doing it. When Mukbang became viral outside of Korea, the spicy fire noodle challenge was trending and that was how my channel off with my very first and current videos. Not only do people love to watch my videos to curb their cravings for food, but they also feel satisfied watching me eat super spicy food.

Has it been a smooth road?
One of the biggest struggles I dealt with after starting a Mukbang YouTube channel was telling my family and friends about it. My friends previously told me they didn’t approve of Mukbangs, which made it difficult for me to tell them about it. I decided not to tell anyone about my YouTube career, but they eventually found out through recommended videos on YouTube. A lot of people to this day think Mukbang is strange, so I was hesitant to tell them what I do for a living. Whenever I told people about my channel, I always got weird looks because I eat in front of the camera for a living.

One other struggle was dealing with negative comments like, “people watch this stuff? A girl eating in front of the camera?” or “you get paid for eating?” or “you’re going to get diabetes and die.” Comments like this hurt. I was bullied in middle school but was able to get through it, so I didn’t think cyberbullying like this would have any impact on me, but eventually it did. No matter how much of a thick skin someone has, reading negative comments like can and will affect you.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with HyuneeEats – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
For me, hyuneeEats is not only a YouTube channel but a brand, a business that I built three years ago. A lot of people start YouTube as a hobby and just do it for fun, but I knew I wanted my channel to be more than just an eating channel. I want to expand outside of creating just Youtube videos and social media contents, and build a franchise to bring people together for the love of food. I always considered myself a business-oriented person when it comes to something I have passion for. My dream now is to have my very own cafes, restaurants, and boutique fashion shops with my logo on it.

I specialize in taking HUGE bites a.k.a hyuneeBites, where I stuff half pack of noodles or burger in my mouth. Another thing I specialize in is sharing positivity to my viewers. My videos help people that are going through depression and help gain appetite for people who are going through health problems such as cancer or other illnesses.

What I’m most proud of as a company is how far I’ve come when so many of my friends and family have doubted my passion and my career. They would say “Hyunee, you can’t make a living off of that” and “No one cares what you eat” and so on. Although my goal was to spread positivity, ironically it is also what I needed time to time and I was able to overcome this from the love and support from my followers (a.k.a hyuneeBees). As your business grows, it gets harder to stay in touch with a lot of your viewers, but I genuinely care about all my hyuneeBees and try to engage with them as much as possible.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love our city because it’s a melting pot of cultures. It is full of diverse types of food and backgrounds of people from different parts of the world. I am able to try authentic Asian food from Little Tokyo, China Town, Korea Town, and am able to try European, American, and Middle Eastern foods practically anywhere in Downtown. Our city brings the best of dishes around the globe and I am so thankful I am able to share this with my viewers.

One thing I don’t like about the city is the traffic. Since our city brings so many different cultures together, people are lined up in every type of restaurants after rush hour. As a Mukbanger, I need to travel and a lot across different parts of the city to try new food, and this has been the hardest part of my career. Gas is expensive!

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