Muscle building. Plant-based. Mukbang. It’s not often one sees these three words bound together to describe a single individual in Korea. The plant-based demographic in Korea, albeit growing, is miniscule. Zoom in a bit more, and the plant-based muscle building demographic is even smaller, so small that you could probably count them on one hand. And then there is Jang Ji-eun, a plant-based YouTuber whose voluminous, well-defined muscles and voracious appetite are redefining the genre as we know it, and continue to inspire many in her wake.
When Ji-eun first went vegan, she did so quietly within the confines of her own life. She studied the vegan movement and its potential to curb the environmental issues as well as improve the lives of humans and animals. She then made changes to her diet and purchasing habits accordingly. After some time, she had the rude awakening that her solitary actions didn’t have the kind of impact she had hoped for, and that she required a major shift in direction. “I realized that I couldn’t even change my closest friends or family if the rest of the world doesn’t change,” said Ji-eun. That’s when she decided to throw herself into the world of content creation.
What’s difficult about making the kind of content that she makes, confided Ji-eun, is that it requires day-in-and-day-out commitment. “It’s not something you can achieve short-term,” said Ji-eun. Sometimes, Ji-eun admits, she is completely overwhelmed by the project and doubts whether this is even sustainable. Before such negative headspace can set in, however, Ji-eun reminds herself of her determination to demonstrate to the world the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, and off she goes to another workout session.
During our time with Ji-eun, we were inspired by her mission-driven approach to content creation, unwavering work ethic, and determination to keep going through moments of weakness and uncertainty. Watch our interview with Ji-eun below to learn more about her story and her plans for the future.