Like any sleep-deprived college student earning a degree in Procrastination, I often convince myself I need a study break, only to find myself panicking two hours later because I spent too much time (1) reading about the endless antics of well-dressed but not-so-well-behaved Lapo Elkann (decadent heir to the Fiat fortune), (2) browsing the sale sections of online clothing retailers that shall remain unnamed (for the safety of your wallet) or (3) poring over the exceptional articles written by the Blogs section.
However, as of late, I’ve noticed that I’ve been reining in those study breaks pretty well, so that the most they’ve gone on for is maybe half an hour. My secret: grossing myself out. Now, while celebrity gossip and consumerist values–but never The Cornell Daily Sun–may inspire revulsion, the disgust I speak of is…bodily. Such study breaks will usually begin with my watching what I call a “WHOA” video (something that mesmerizes me) and end with my seeing a “NO” video (something I find so detesting I voluntarily return to my homework). To give you all an idea of my method, I shall provide a few examples:
I. Popping Pimples
One of the most renowned and popular forms of internet entertainment, videos of people having their pimples/zits/cysts/blackheads popped or removed can be found on YouTube, specifically on Dr. Sandra Lee’s channel, where she is known as Dr. Pimple Popper.
Dilated pores of winer are easily my favorite type of dermatological extractions to watch because there’s something simply satisfying about seeing a plug-like substance being removed from the skin. It’s like popping open a bottle of champagne! Plus, the relatively dry composition of dilated pores of winer means they’re not as messy as their liquid-y counterparts.
I usually end my study breaks during (much less after) cyst removals because those involve much more cutting, bleeding and sewing of the wound, and thus, much more cringing, gagging, and palm-sweating of yours truly.
II. Earwax Removal
I’d say that pimple popping and earwax removal are quite similar–they both involve extracting something that has grown inside or onto the body, but like dilated pores of winer, earwax removal is comparably cleaner.
No surgery is necessary for earwax removal, as it often involves squirting water into the ear canal. Seeing those pieces of earwax drop out of a patient’s ear reminds me of wooden logs flowing down a waterfall. Simply poetic.
Discovering that a dead animal has been trapped in your noggin for God knows how long? Horrific.
III. Salivary Stones
Moving down the body towards the mouth, I present to you: salivary stones, which sort of look like teeth hiding in the glands in your mouth, can result from dehydration and leave you with bad breath.
Look at these little treasures hiding in your mouth!
IV. Ingrown Hairs
I’ve found a couple of ingrown hairs beneath the skin on my legs, and I must admit that pulling them out yourself is even better than watching others do it! Unfortunately, I will probably never find anything that compares to the contents of the following clips:
I have seen this video so many times, and there are always a few ingrown hairs I never anticipate because they’re practically invisible!
Star of the show: those hot pink tweezers.
V. Belly Button Lint
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with having a clean belly button, especially because I’m an innie, so it’s always been hard for me to understand how others can amass so much belly button lint.
That poor woman. Kids, remember: wash behind your ears and in your belly button!
Maybe lint is an understatement.
VI. Peeling Skin from Feet
Foot masks have become a thing, so much so that I’ve considered buying and trying out a pair–just to clear away the dead skin on my feet. It’d be nice to know what my feet would feel like if they were baby-soft, but after watching some videos, I’m not sure I could pick the dead skin off.
Honestly, this was going to be my “NO” video…
UNTIL I SAW THIS MONSTROSITY.
VII. Nasal Packing
Sea cucumbers. Bloody, nostril-sized sea cucumbers emerging from your face.
I assure you; I did not accidentally forget to include a “WHOA,” because nasal packing has and always will be my immediate, hard “NO.” Between the screaming, the colors, the expanding size of the packing and the blood oozing from the nose, I just cannot handle watching nasal packings.
For those of you who were not remotely grossed out, I applaud you for your bravery and refer you to the television series Hannibal, which features not only copious violence but also sublime food presentation. For those of you who did reach a “NO” point, I encourage you to further explore the boundary between fascination and aversion on YouTube, for it is much cheaper than binge-watching through a Netflix subscription. And to everyone else, keep reading blogs!