Pimple popping – or watching someone do it – is not exactly the most popular type of entertainment. It’s actually quite the opposite. Seeing the pus ooze out of a pimple is nothing but disgusting. As weird as it sounds, there’s actually a group of people in the world that is a fan of watching these videos. Read on to find the psychology behind it.
About four years ago, Dr Sandra Lee, more popular as Dr Pimple Popper, became an internet sensation. She basically films her procedures on her patients and posts the videos on the internet. The videos range from slicing the skin and extracting the cyst inside to the basic procedure of unclogging pores. Her specialty is anything related to popping a zit. It became so popular that it formed a specific genre on the internet. Dr Sandra Lee also has her own show on TLC.
The fact that the pimple popping videos was greeted with so much enthusiasm was an unusual response. Popping pimples and draining it of pus isn’t exactly the best thing to watch. If anything, it’s disgusting. This then begs the question of why, despite its apparent disgusting nature, it is still appealing to the masses.
What professionals think of it
Dr Abigail Cline, M.D. Ph. D. of the Center for Dermatology Research at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, has a response. She said that something about watching other people pop a pimple empowers one’s sense of having complete control over something. Specifically, it gives the impression that one person has the power over a pimple by being able to treat it. She also said that watching the pus ooze out of a zit is a fascinating scene for some.
Another statement by Marc LaFrance, an associate professor of sociology from Concordia University, says that popping zits is a very empowering activity in contrast to how annoying zits are. Acne causes a lot of problems – they make you feel self-conscious, they lower your self-esteem, and they make their presence known even after they’re gone by leaving acne scars. Having the power to pop them and to get rid of such a pesky problem is very gratifying.
Marc LaFrance stated that another reason why pimple popping videos may be enjoyable for some is because of a human’s innate curiosity for what lies underneath the skin. Having a cyst excised for your viewing pleasure isn’t something you see every day. As a consequence, people watch these videos out of curiosity, the desire to learn, and sheer fascination.
Another reason is the ability to watch an activity that is so tempting and satisfying to do without having any repercussions on your own skin. Having somebody else perform the procedure that you yourself want to do is enough to qualify these videos as entertainment for some.
But these videos actually go beyond being a source of entertainment. Ever since they became a trend, there is a continuous global awareness that acne and skin problems are actually more normal than most think and it is nothing to be ashamed of. The result is a strong community of individuals who are slowly yet surely becoming more comfortable in their own skins, with or without acne.