BY: BROOKLYN PINHEIRO
If you’re listening to Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back while watching tweezers extract a squishy substance from an outlined piece of flesh, there’s a good chance you’re stuck in the worm hole that is Dr.Pimple Popper videos.
Dr. Sandra Lee, aka, Dr. Pimple Popper has tapped into people’s obsession of watching whiteheads, blackheads, and cysts being squeezed out by building a social media empire devoted to the cringey yet satisfying videos.
These are different from the average Youtube home videos of someone’s girlfriend painfully popping a baseball sized lump off of a guys back. Dr. Lee is a certified dermatologist working at Skin Physicians and Surgeons in Los Angeles aiming to spread education on skin care and awareness about different skin conditions.
She has amassed 2.2 million followers on Instagram and Youtube with over 700 videos.
Dr. Dan Kelly, author of Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust, has a background in philosophy of the mind and morality studies. He became interested in disgust as a part of answering the ever prominent question, ‘why are we the way we are?’
He believes that disgust is a uniquely human emotion that evolved to keep us at a safe distance from things that will cause sickness or infection including people who show signs of being sick or infected. For disgust to work properly it needs to command attention to the thing which is repulsive in order to keep an eye on it so one doesn’t get too close. You can’t help but look.
While watching these videos on a screen the threat of infection is non existent, leaving the viewer with the fascination aspect of disgust.
“If these extractions were happening in real life I suspect you wouldn’t get that many people to watch,” said Dr. Kelly.
While safely watching videos at a distance you can get all the emotional juice without any of the body juice.
There’s something about videos of oozing cysts that still makes people scroll past them while on a crowded subway, yet there’s a hesitancy to admit one’s fascination. The average amount of likes a Dr. Pimple Popper video will receive on Instagram is under five percent of the clips’ total views.
Expressing disgust can position one socially, such as being disgusted by foods custom to region can distance one from that place and those people.
According to Dr. Kelly not expressing fascination for disgust can work the same way.
Whether you’re open with your obsession or not you can lose hours scrolling through the Dr. Pimple Popper pages, listening to all the punny songs. The compilation videos are my favourite.