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lee.jpeg

Why Do We Enjoy Watching Dr. Pimple Popper and Other Videos Like It?

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | November 18, 2017 | Comments ()

By Jodi Smith | Think Pieces | November 18, 2017 |


lee.jpeg

Back when TLC was still an actual learning channel, my Mom and I would watch the surgery shows they aired. There is something fascinating to me about the human body and how it constantly tries to kill, disfigure, or hobble itself. I am also forever in awe of how doctors and surgeons can correct so many ailments of the human body. I suppose it is soothing to know that there are a lot of things your body can have go wrong, but there are also a lot of things that can be fixed.

Perhaps I’m missing a treasure trove of surgery videos on YouTube, but I’ve yet to find them. What I did find was Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) and her channel on YouTube. Apparently, I am not alone in becoming increasingly obsessed with Dr. Lee and her videos. The channel currently has 3,064,053 subscribers.

Before you turn up your nose in disgust, let me say that the name Dr. Pimple Popper is kind of a misnomer because this isn’t just popping videos.

I’m Sandra Lee, MD, aka Dr Pimple Popper, a board-certified dermatologist, skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic surgeon, who is a regular guest dermatologist on various TV shows. This channel was first a place for me to post my television segments with me discussing and treating common skin issues and cutting edge cosmetic surgery techniques. In the last year, it has become so much more!

Here I try to give you a “window into my world” as a dermatologist. I discuss various diseases of the skin, hair, and nails, and you get advice and information on blackheads, acne, cysts, warts, Botox, fillers, liposuction… anything that I may do within the realm of dermatology. Hopefully you will love the field as much as I do, and even fall in love with some of my fantastic patients that you “meet” along the way.

The world is a shitshow right now and I am becoming ever-increasingly convinced that I will die destitute and homeless in the dumpster behind a Popeye’s Chicken. My brain is very, very difficult to shut up and I need distractions that soothe and, well, distract me from the thoughts I have. One thing that helps is ASMR in Japanese cooking videos with no talking. Another is ASMR in Almazan Kitchen videos with no talking. Then there’s Dr. Pimple Popper, her soothing voice, and the immensely satisfying videos like the one below.

What makes it so satisfying? I think that it comes down to a problem being presented (the cyst on the neck) and a solution being deployed quickly and expertly that leads to a conclusion where someone walks away feeling better about themselves than when they walked in.

Each video is an introduction of a patient and an explanation of what is happening in Dr. Lee’s soothing voice (which I admit is probably part of the allure as well). Then you see things getting better over the course of the video. It doesn’t really matter if they are blackheads being removed from an elderly gentleman who just lost his wife and wants to feel better about himself. It matters that the gentleman, nicknamed Pops, is getting what he needs from Dr. Lee. Though the videos don’t show most of the patient’s face for the most part, you can see Pops smiling as Dr. Lee jokes with him and as she explains how she is helping him.

It’s cathartic, and there’s a lot of much-needed compassion in these videos. You can look at them and say, “Ew, gross! There is compacted skin flake coming out of that inflamed pore!” and I would say, “HOW DO YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT THAT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED???” and then you would stammer that you don’t know and I would laugh.

Where was I?

Right. Dr. Lee and her ability to change someone’s day through her work and her personality are addictive. It doesn’t matter what the procedures may be or what medical science is being explained. It’s about seeing people treat each other well. It’s about getting satisfaction in seeing that there are still good people out there. It’s about seeing in these videos what we don’t see on Twitter or social media or the news right now.

Pretty deep for videos about splooping out blackheads and cyst gunk, am I right?



Jodi Smith is the Associate Trade News Editor at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.


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