It’s hard not to scroll through any social media feed these days without being bombarded by tragedy. Which, luckily enough, is where the internet also comes in handy.
A few weeks ago, South Korean “artist”/YouTube star Showry entered stage left to shock us with her odd food play – slathering herself in ketchup, dancing with a banana, et cetera.
The Felix to Showry’s Oscar, however, has made a much-needed splash entrance on the internet as well. Her name is unknown, and she’s refused most journalists’ requests for interviews except for, oddly enough, Maxim and Oyster. She goes simply by “Bread Face.”
Bread Face Rises
Bread Face’s schtick consists of posting videos on Instagram (@breadfaceblog) of her sticking her face into numerous bread products. Having posted just 25 videos since the end of July, Bread Face’s followers have risen (spot the yeast pun) to over 40,000 followers.
She enjoys playing either sexy pop songs or classic Neil Young tracks while presenting a different type of bread product to the camera, and subsequently rubs, smooshes, and rolls her face all over it.
When asked the question on everyone’s mind – WHY? – she told Maxim a rather infuriatingly simplistic “I thought it would feel good…and I was right.” She told Oyster “Within the past couple of years is when I first started putting my face in bread, but I can’t remember the exact day because I like to do what feels good when I want to do it …It’s pure id.”
So What Makes Bread Face Work?
A couple of key elements combined can make something a viral hit. In BreadFace’s case: a beautiful young girl, moody, colorful lighting, catchy and recognizable soundtrack, hip clothes, and an odd new way to roll the internet’s love of food into an oddly palatable swirl with the internet’s equal affinity for fetishistic sensuality renders a strangely compelling social media account.
Fifteen-second videos of a woman slowly embedding her face in carbohydrate-laden objects is apparently just what the e-voyeur Doctor ordered.
It is ASMR taken to the next level; devoid of the sound of face hitting bread, the viewers are mesmerized by the hip music and must invent an assessment of how the bread must feel, as the woman who runs the account rarely passes visible judgment about any particular bread.
On an accompanying Tumblr, (breadfaceblog.tumblr.com), for the real zealots of the Instagram account, Bread Face rates some of the pieces of bread that she faces on a Face Feel rating scale of 0-10 and sometimes comments alongside, such as “The Za’atar spice was obviously the worst part. After the first smoosh, I didn’t want to go in for another, but it’s all part of the experience.”
I Bread Faced – For You, Kinda
I decided to try bread facing for you, my dear Tastemade audience, and for myself, to know if it’s worth all the hype. It’s one thing to dedicate 12 minutes of my life to watching a woman do her own smooshing, but it is quite another to take matters into my own face.
I chose two types of bread to try – one massive La Brea Bakery Italian roll and one smaller supermarket asiago cheese loaf, for face-feel contrast.
I had a hypothesis that the softer, fuller, more buoyant sponge of the Italian loaf would feel better, and it turns out I am either a pretty masterful hypothesizer or have a lot of experience with carbohydrates and knowing which ones will feel better on any palate, be it flesh or otherwise.
So, How Did It Feel?
The Italian roll felt, to be honest, phenomenal. Part of what’s so special about this unique endeavor is at its core; it invites a rather fiendish sense of disobedience. We’re taught not to play with our food – for sensible reasons of course, but as adults we have elevated food, but we haven’t necessarily engaged with it in any other form than objectivity or digestibility.
I have never wrapped my body in spaghetti to see how it would feel (though I’m sure that type of food play isn’t far away from being the next VIRAL THING™, nor have I ever interfaced with food other than to render it into something edible.
The fact of bread facing is it’s utterly pointless. I have never played with bread in this way. For my own bread face experiment, I played on my favorite track from Magic Mike XXL (Jeremih’s “I Wanna F*** You All The Time”) and rolled my face around.
It felt better than a pillow, better than anything I’ve obliged to put my face in thus far in life, that I can remember. Better than skin, even, because it was so cool to the touch, so diaphanous yet sturdy, and so deliciously porous (a credit to Nancy Silverton’s baked goods) that it almost felt like face-swimming.
The asiago loaf was 90% less-exciting, and honestly just felt dumb in comparison. A pretty wild contrast, honestly – that one iteration of bread product can give such extraordinary pleasure, and another can feel aggressive to the face, and devoid of joy.
But What’s It All Mean?
Of course, implicit in this activity is a sense of privileged Western wastefulness. This phenomenon would never be a lauded activity in the poverty-stricken parts of the world. The fact of its phenomenon status is almost a fetish in itself: in many parts of the world, this bread could feed a family of 4, and here I am rubbing my dumb face all over it for tactile curiosity.
Bread Face told one journalist that wasting food is a “no no” but I bread faced an enormous La Brea Bakery Italian roll, and the result left a rather Rothko-like magenta line of lipstick that cut halfway through the bread, which isn’t necessarily appetizing to me or any subsequent guests.
My photographer and I did, however, eat the asiago cheese off of the top of the cheese loaf that I also bread faced, because it’s tough, mountainous terrain didn’t seem to snatch any traces of my lipstick with my smoosh.
Should I Try Bread Facing?
So, was it worth it? I highly enjoyed myself, that’s for sure. At its essence, rolling your face in an item of food feels deviant, almost perverse – as Bread Face told Maxim, “Everything about food and relating to food is very sexual.”
At the same turn, it was silly, wasteful, bizarre, pleasurable, and yet not necessarily something I would find myself doing again even if presented with a superfluous carby substance.
I urged my photographer to try it, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. When my husband came home, I raved about it and told him I’d left him the lipsticked loaf to try, but he hasn’t felt compelled and now it’s days later, the bread stale, and I’ve thrown it out. Guess he’ll have to take my word for it.