We live in a colorful world, no doubt about it. With so much information bombarding us every day, it’s easy to lose track of what’s really going on around us.
And by really, I mean that we often fail to pause and reflect on the dynamics of our modern society where people celebrate an inherently positive side of the world. But what if beneath its wholesome surface lies an underlying toxicity that feeds our delusions even further?
It sounds like one of those difficult thoughts that haunt us before falling asleep. But thanks to one Redditor who recently asked a seemingly basic question “What are 'wholesome' things that are actually toxic?” we now have some truly eye-opening answers. From family vlogging to animal rescue videos that are often totally fake, these are some examples to remind us to not take everything at face value.
Not sure if it’s on here already, but I get super uncomfortable when a video of a classroom of kids giving the kid who “can’t afford new shoes” a brand new pair as a surprise. The entire culture of filming while doing kind things for people is so exploitive and gross and sad.
The expectation to keep your family members in your life no matter what they do. Some people have families that treat them like absolute [trash], and being related to them isn't a good reason to keep them around. It's ok to cut off toxic family members.
Body positivity like Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign. The idea that all women are beautiful sounds nice on the surface, but it's a gross message to send because beauty is still at the core of it. I don't want to be told that my body is beautiful too, I want to be told that I don't have to be beautiful, that my value is not tied to how much other people enjoy looking at me.
“Look at this adorable 4-year-old using a walker! So inspirational!”
“Awww, this guy asked a deaf girl to prom!”
“Watch this group of guys playing tackle football with a guy with Down syndrome!!”
“Check out this amazing blind kid walking down a street! Next level, yo!”
Proposing in front of a crowd. Puts a lot of pressure on the person being proposed to.
Corporations who spend $50 million on ads to tell you about the amazing $1 million they spent on a charity program.
Toxic positivity. Like when someone's having a really hard time and you tell them to stay positive or try to look at the bright side. [Screw] you Jenny, my grandma died.
Instagram "influencers" promoting their "amazing" healthy lifestyles but in reality mostly staged/photoshopped and exacerbating mental illness, body issues, anxiety in young people.
Touching women’s bellies when they’re pregnant. You don’t go around patting a penis to congratulate it on its successful ejaculation. Damn.
The pure existence of most modern dog breeds. Pugs, for example. We all think they’re super cute, but the truth is - they are extremely deformed and constantly suffering as a result of a century of inbreeding. A lot of people don’t know this, and it’s really sad. I’m not saying these dogs should be put down right now, just saying it would’ve been a better idea not to inbreed dogs for centuries.
Asking your child "Who's your boy/girlfriend?" any time they interact with someone of the opposite sex.
Badgering people to have kids. No, I’m not going to magically change my mind when I meet the right girl.
Dads trying to be weirdly aggressive/threatening to their daughter's bfs.
Punking people with practical jokes that are fake traumatic incidents. There is absolutely nothing funny about witnessing a fake death, mortal injury or abuse and then discovering it was all an elaborate joke. It’s traumatizing.
As a former homeless person, I can't put into words how annoying the people who film themselves handing out food for a viral video with some emotional pop song overlaid on it are. It's 100% "look at me, look how cool and HELPFUL I am" while honestly not giving a real damn about the homeless. It'd be one thing if you're putting your fame and money back into funding a shelter, or true change and volunteering and charity efforts but not just dropping $20 on some McDonalds meals to drive around LA filming strangers sleeping on the street for a bit.
Using your child for likes on social media, that's creepy I never understood why would any parent do that
Abstinence and purity promise culture. Really [screws] people up for a long time when you teach them that:
A.) sex is dirty, bad and evil
B.) their worth as a person is tied to that purity
If the government can't give schools enough funds, then everything is wrong.
Repeatedly professing your love for someone after they tell you that they aren't interested.
The idea that you can "make" someone love you back if you just keep trying is rooted in toxicity, but romanticized in countless films and TV shows.
Teachers giving up their Sick Days for some other teacher can have days off for Cancer Treatments.
"If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best." In theory, I'm supposed to be a statement of unconditional love, but in reality it's just inviting toxic behavior with no way out
The idea that feeling anger makes you a bad person, or that you are obligated to forgive absolutely everyone who has hurt you.
Any viral story about some kid selling [stuff] to pay for a relatives healthcare.
Dolphins at SeaWorld and other family centers. They are generally all in a state of extreme mental health stress and have to be given drugs to keep them calm. In addition, the profits from capturing the best looking dolphins and selling them to these places fuel an annual dolphin hunt in Japan where the vast majority are sold for animal meat. It is a brutal practice where an extremely intelligent and sentient animal group is killed without painkillers in a slaughter.
Receiving recognition for perfect attendance. My ass that you never got sick.
Supporting someone no matter what choices they make. You can love someone to the ends of the earth, that doesn’t mean they will 100% be right all of the time, no matter how much you love or admire them.
When people who are super spiritual and love love love all the time judge and ridicule you for not being in a good mood or for needing space. “You’re ruining the vibe” “this isn’t a hostile environment”- gaslighting is wrong and these people do it ALL THE TIME! I call them “the love police”.
Any kind of 'tough love'. "Other people have it worse" or "Kids should get bullied to toughen up" (Yes someone actually said this to me).
Teachers working overtime/sacrificing for their students/fundraising for anything/etc. Most news articles that hit national headlines about teachers are toxic af.
"student raises money for his former teacher found living in a car"
"principal works 2nd job to help homeless students have clean clothes and food"
Spending so much time on social media to show everyone else how wholesome your life is.
Spouses being their partners EVERYTHING. it's okay to have other friends, actually it's even healthy to have a robust social life in which you get different things out of your relationships with different people
Baby onesies that say stuff. Some are innocent...a lot are not. I'm a first time mom to a 6mo son. My child is not here to make grandma feel like a "mother without rules". And keep that "chick magnet" [nonsense] outta my face.
"We're all just one big family!"
If anyone tells you this in a workplace setting, run. They're only like a family in the sense of the most toxic parts of one that exploit you.
Youtube kids channels. The ones aimed at older audiences are literally better for a child than the kids ones.
News stories like "CEO sees employee dumpster diving for food and buys them a headlamp"
"Kid works manual labor to pay off school lunch debt for entire class"
Note: this post originally had 53 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.