WARNING: These videos contain graphic content that might be upsetting to some viewers.
In today's news that will make some of you throw up in your mouth, there is a new obsession taking social media by storm. It's not cute puppies. It's not make-up transformations. Oh, no. It's tonsil stone removal videos, which have unofficially usurped the throne from pimple popping videos — our previous gross-but-strangely-fulfilling obsession. Sorry, Dr. Pimple Popper. You'll have to step up your game. Or! Just don't. Dear God. Don't.
It's a mystery to most of us why we find disgusting things so satisfying. I was happy watching YouTube videos of amazing dog rescues and doing the ugly cry alone in my bedroom, but apparently that just doesn't cut it for some people. Pimple popping and now tonsil stone removal videos carry a special... something; but why are we intrigued by gross things?
Take the aforementioned Dr. Pimple Popper, aka Sandra Lee, L.A. dermatologist. You might say she is the reigning queen of pimple popping. Her Instagram account is a little over two years old, but she has already amassed 2.5 million followers, plus a billion YouTube Views.
There are some possible explanations. Nina Strohminger, author of The Hedonics of Disgust, says it has to do with watching bad things happen to other people.
"Negative sensations are interesting, particularly when you're in a context where they can't hurt you. You're probably not going to step in dog shit just for the experience, but maybe you'd click on a link to watch someone else doing it," Strohminger says.
Similarly, Glamour likens it to the same desire inside of us that has us paying money to go through a haunted house or see a scary movie — excitement minus the danger. We want to experience the rush without the potential of anything bad happening. Dean McKay, Ph.D., a psychology professor who studies disgust (you read that right), says, "Seeking out videos of this sort stimulates an emotional state that isn't frequently provoked." This explanation makes our obsession sound rather ordinary, when you think about it — considering that we so often watch movies, read books, seek out other entertainment because we want to experience something we don't normally experience.
Our fascination with nasty stuff might go even deeper than that, too. It could be that there's something legitimately therapeutic about gross videos, due to the pleasurable feeling and pressure relief they can give you. In fact, Dr. Lee is certain of it. According to Lee, many of her viewers report an ASMR — an autonomous sensory meridian response — a feeling of pleasure ignited by specific sights, sounds, and smells.
In fact, her videos have even helped some people cope with their dermatillomania, a skin picking disorder that's a type of OCD.
It seems, then, that there truly can be a positive mental and emotional response to seeing disgusting stuff. There's a type of relief after, and an immediate sense of gratification from seeing something nasty quickly get remedied.
One more important takeaway? Your obsession with gross videos? It's actually quite normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
And that brings us to tonsil stone removal videos, which have a loyal audience (including a Reddit community) of their own. Could this be the new pimple popping? It's quite possible; you might find yourself experiencing the same sense of relief and satisfaction that Dr. Pimple Popper gives you. If that's the case, good on you. Just don't get caught at work watching these videos, please and thank you.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, treat yourself to a roundup of some of the most satisfying tonsil removal videos in the world of YouTube. Just don't watch them right after you've eaten.
If you're still here after all that... wow. Welcome back, I suppose. You are truly among the bravest (or most masochistic?) of humans and I truly wish you and your inevitable tonsil-related nightmares all the best.