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This Sophomore Won’t Stop Picking at the Tiny Blemish on His Face


Photo by Mic445 / CC BY 2.0

This year marks 14 years since the groundbreaking documentary Supersize Me was released into theaters. The film followed Morgan Spurlock, a filmmaker who ate nothing but for a month and put himself on track to become obese. The movie educated a whole generation of consumers on the dangers of fast food.


In a similar , Jeremy Gibson (C ’20) is educating a whole urban studies seminar on what happens when you pick at a small blemish on your face until the skin is raw.


Gibson began his journey around 10:25  and was well on his way to “super-sizing” the microscopic zit by the time class started five minutes later. Throughout the discussion, Gibson picked and scratched, often looking at his finger moments after to see if he had caught anything.


At some points throughout the hour and a half long seminar, Gibson felt he should stop his endeavor, but had become so addicted to the feeling of “really getting the good stuff this time,” that he persisted, despite the fact that there was no “good stuff” to be got.

“Watching him was like watching the lead up to a car crash,” said Professor Markowitz outside the Meyerson classroom. “He made an insightful comment about green city planning and the whole time just kept gently picking at his cheek. I just couldn’t take my eyes off of him, I was mesmerized.”

Other classmates were similarly moved by Gibson’s journey.

“The before and after were shocking,” said classmate Julie Simmons (C ’19). “Like, I think in our heads we all know the repercussions of a stunt like this, but my god to actually see it… it really makes you think. By the time he was , I couldn’t even make eye contact with him because I just kept looking at how inflamed and juicy the spot on his left had become.”