To Pop or Not to Pop?

Videos of pimple popping has always been an extreme interest or turn-off since some people find them fun to watch while some think they are disgusting and disturbing.

Pimple popping videos — you either love them or hate them, but either way, once you start watching one, it’s hard to stop. So what’s the deal? Why are people so fascinated by these videos, and why do they draw our attention so much?

According to Medical Daily, disgust has a lot to do with it. As a society, we are pretty desensitized to things that disgust us because we don’t normally come into contact with them. So when we do see something revolting, say a video of a massive pimple being popped with puss oozing out, it consumes our attention. Even if you pop your own pimples, it’s not like those crazy videos online titled “World’s Largest Pimple” or “Grossest Pimple-Popping Videos of All Time.”  Due to the unfamiliarity of these unpleasant videos, we become completely fixated on them.

So does this also account for how weirdly satisfying some people find them? Maybe. It may also be a psychological factor: cleanliness is something society places a high value on. It makes sense then that seeing dirt leaving someone’s body would be so relieving.

NYU students have mixed feelings about these videos.


“I get how it’s satisfying to pop your own pimples, but watching videos of those huge zits with tons of puss coming out is just gross,” College of Nursing junior Ericka Silva said.

LS sophomore Joy Yang agreed with Silva, saying she avoids them herself even though her boyfriend enjoys the videos.

“My boyfriend says they are fun to watch, but I never watch them because they’re gross,” Yang said.

Gallatin junior Maddy Smith echoed Silva and Yang.

“They’re gross and weird me out,” Smith said.

Basically, the general consensus is that they’re gross. Though these videos don’t thrill many NYU students, people who love them are not alone — there are millions  of subscribers to the multiple accounts dedicated to these videos. Not to mention that these videos also have millions of views and countless articles that amass the most cringeworthy, satisfying and largest pimple popping videos. There even exists the famous Dr. Pimple Popper, Dr. Sandra Lee, a dermatologist who specializes in popping these bad boys. She herself has a YouTube account dedicated to it with over 3 million subscribers.

So, what end of the spectrum do you fall on? Are pimple popping videos your guilty pleasure? Do you gladly embrace your love for them? Or do you find them disturbingly gross, and you’re unable to understand the obsession?

Either way, once caught in the middle of watching one, whether you love or hate it, it truly is incredibly hard to look away. So go onward, my pimple popping video fanatics, and know that your disgust for these videos is the reason you are drawn to them.

Email Caroline Zemsky at [email protected]



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