It's been two years and four months since an anonymous woman in Brooklyn started smashing her face into a wide variety of bread types for the entertainment of the internet. At the time of writing, Bread Face (that really is her chosen moniker) has 177,000 followers and over 150 videos on her Instagram account, almost all of which involve her pressing her face (sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively) into baked goods.
Here's an introductory montage:
The persona and internet presence of Bread Face started when the woman in question -- rumored to be a now-28-year-old writer -- first decided to roll her face on a Korean green tea roll cake because she suspected it would feel nice. When she shared her own joy about the experience with her friends, they all laughed at her, so she took to the internet, assuming, at the very least, her new hobby would be entertaining for other people to watch.
Things first blew up for Bread Face five months into her Instagram project when Buzzfeed picked up on the account and (accurately) described it as "oddly compelling.” The same month, Oyster Mag called Bread Face "fascinating," and she told them the project was "pure id."
As the popularity of Bread Face grew, the internet and journalists wondered if this was some sort of food-based fetish. In the summer of 2016, she told the New York Times: "If I’m filling a once-empty slot for someone sexually — then that’s awesome. I get it. I don’t think it’s weird — food is tactile and sexy, and we can’t help what turns us on, just don’t overindulge yourself. The other part of me wonders if anyone would even bring that up if I weren’t an Asian girl. I mean... I don’t wonder that much, I know the answer.”
To be clear, Bread Face doesn't go out of her way to be overtly sexy. As with almost any other woman in America, her aesthetic changes according to her mood. This means that she breadfaces (yes, it's a verb now) in everything from casual band T-shirts and preppy dresses to slinky club wear. She told Elle in early 2016: "I actually don't put too much thought into what I'm wearing. It's usually something I already have on or if you notice it's dressier—it's something I'll be going out in."
Then there's the music. Much has been made of her eclectic curation of soundtracks, but she once told Munchies: "These are songs that I am currently listening to or songs that I never get sick of. I don't pair the breads with the songs, but I will say that the songs do affect how I 'face' the bread.”
Just look at this unfiltered joy:
It's hard to tell so far how much Bread Face is financially benefitting from her videos. For a while, she accepted donations through her eBay account, where she also sold some clothes, but she no longer lists it on her Instagram profile, and no items are currently for sale there. Her current "story" does include baseball caps for $26 via PayPal, but that's a relatively new development.
Last month, however, things took a turn for the glamorous when Bread Face was hired for an (amazing) ad campaign for Sidney Garber -- a Chicago-based fine jewelry company. The end result is nothing short of mesmerizing.
In addition, Bread Face has been sharing live videos that take her particular entertainment oeuvre into other realms. A few weeks ago, she recorded herself miming to Janet Jackson through a surgical mask into a gold microphone. Some of the dance was done entirely in silhouette, some was face-on. It was simultaneously voyeuristic and disquieting. Some commenters were upset about the lack of bread involved, but by the end of the broadcast, Bread Face had still amassed around 2000 viewers.
Glaringly, the Bread Face Instagram now has a note at the top that suggests our carb-loving hero is seeking new ways to entertain us. "DO YOU WANT TO WATCH ME DO OTHER THINGS?!" she asks. No doubt the fans that find her bread-interactions erotically charged will have some special requests, but honestly, moving into other realms will probably end up destroying this still surprisingly fascinating project.
Bread Face unintentionally summed up what's so special about her project in the Munchies interview: "I think this always disappoints people, but there was actually very little thought that went into this. I wanted to put my face in bread, and so I did it."
Bread Face's lack of intention is one of the things that has kept her Instagram account so compelling. In 2017 internet terms, there is something remarkable about an attractive, well-dressed woman with good taste in music, who just really likes putting her face into baked goods for no particular reason. Here's hoping branching out doesn't muddy such a beautifully simple thing.