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.

#1

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.

LaceyThunderwear Report

Eslamala
Community Member
5 months ago

It's an awful thing to do

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#2

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.

Weirdo_666_420 Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
5 months ago

Done

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#3

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.

verytiredverymerry Report

HooowlAtTheMoon
Community Member
5 months ago

Exactly, I don't care about whether I look 'beautiful' or not, I want it to be okay to not care if i look 'beautiful' or not

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#4

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Beauty Pagents

Chopper3 Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Kiddie beauty pageants are the worst.

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#5

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic “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!”

an_ineffable_plan Report

Eslamala
Community Member
5 months ago

100% agree

littlesaresare
Community Member
5 months ago

Even worse is when a disabled person achieves something incredible, and everyone goes "see, you can do anything you put your mind to!" That mindset is so toxic for other disabled people, who, surprise surprise, cannot 'do anything they put their mind to', and are then treated like lazy assholes for it. :(

LemonLea
Community Member
5 months ago

Exactly! People need to learn to believe disabled people both when we say we can do something and when we can’t. Really though, people just need to start believing other people in general. That’s respect.

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Two Silly Pups
Community Member
5 months ago

Pointing people with disabilities out means you have not accepted them as a part of society

Nadine Debard
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Exactly. And going into raptures when someone achieves something "just because they have disability" is a bit toxic in my opinion, because it lets think that other 'disabled' people can't achieve it. Our society only focuses on impairment, not on skills. And god knows how many skills people with disabilities have!

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Paityn Krummrich
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

This is a teeny bit unrelated but I really hate it when there's like a news article about an autistic person getting included in activities and stuff and they are treating the people who are being inclusive like they're heroes. Like, treating someone like a human being is not an accomplishment.

Shine Caramia
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't think it's unrelated at all. I think it's exactly the point.

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Lorelai Purvis
Community Member
5 months ago

people be like: "oh this person isn't nOrMaL let's make a big deal out of it when they're TREATED LIKE ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING WOULD BE"

Nihilism Is the Only Way
Community Member
5 months ago

lol exactly! and the irony of it all is lost on so many its sad. i don't even think they know they're doing it or it's toxic. this a good meme to get out there.... educate the masses.

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Carol Emory
Community Member
5 months ago

If my son had been front page news when his high school football team looked out for his safety (protected him from bullies,) I would have been furious. It's not a "Wow look at this amazing thing that no one has ever done before." It's a "Why isn't this the norm."

Colleen Garland
Community Member
5 months ago

I just can't understand all the lack of empathy amongst you. I have a sister with Down's syndrome. Should people just say "that's nice", or "isn't that sweet?" Doubt I'd find that attitude encouraging.

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No you didn't
Community Member
5 months ago

Calling folks with disabilities inspiring is the worst.

Jace
Community Member
5 months ago

I get the sense that it spotlights the disability and its cultural status as "abnormal" or "to be pitied", and that makes it into ableism...

Celeste Grant
Community Member
5 months ago

Absolutely. We cope with our disabilities or chronic illnesses because we have no choice not because we are trying to inspire others We are just trying to live our best lives with what we have to work with.

Emma Perkins
Community Member
5 months ago

I want to see these people, but I want to see them first and their disability second, if at all. It should just be a viral video of a guy being super shy about asking someone to prom or amazing teamwork to pull of an amazing football maneuver. These people deserve to be seen, we just need to work on how the mass majority understands them

Equine_Ravenclaw_Directioner
Community Member
5 months ago

Absolutely.

debrina blackmoon
Community Member
5 months ago

OMG

Shadow4523
Community Member
5 months ago

yea, not good for our community

Skidanpump
Community Member
4 months ago

Ummm... YOU CANT ASK DEAF GIRLS TO PROM

Devin Nassar-Reis
Community Member
5 months ago

There's nothing wrong with that.

Jeri Woodrow
Community Member
5 months ago

And why are we even talking about it?! Just HELP each other without all the fuss. It’s what we all should be doing!

Racheal Birdsong-Bradley
Community Member
5 months ago

I understand how people may argue against sharing the last 3, but the first, a child using a walker? Was it the first time the child was able to walk? Did the child become paralyzed and never expected to even move their arms again? Did using a walker coincide with not having to use a ventilator ever again?

Octavia Hansen
Community Member
5 months ago

Emotional black mail!

Robert Thompson
Community Member
5 months ago

All that but "fat" is still out of the question.....

C.S. E.
Community Member
5 months ago

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard is an amazing resource concerning this. I highly recommend a watch - 'Why Not All Disabled People Want To Be Inspirational' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAE4n1dcgQw&list=PLhADVL2AiGX_8YOVeTyMzKDihIi9IKb7p&index=49

Colleen Garland
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm guessing it's inspirational for kids like this. I've seen so many football players being able to make a touchdown. It probably was a fantastic day for them that they won't forget. I'm sure the parents are very happy too. It's a day they may think of always.

𝔹𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕒
Community Member
5 months ago

Totally agree. Like why are you surprised- disabled kids can do anything that non-disabled kids can do.

Elizabeth McLeod Mariutto
Community Member
5 months ago

Uh, no they can't. That's why it's called a disability.

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
5 months ago

These can actually be great things for these people. I've seen the smiles on their faces when things like this happen.

Mimi777
Community Member
5 months ago

It’s like they want to be praised and rewarded for showing basic human decency.

Cafesinner
Community Member
5 months ago

THANK YOU!!

Charlotte A.
Community Member
5 months ago

I think the issue is mainly the person saying these things: It might very well be an awesome feat for the disabled person, but the person calling attention to it is really calling attention to their own "excellence". It also bothers me that this is often done with animals as well. I mean, sure disabled animals are worth all the love and care in the world but losing an eye or a leg doesn't make them cuter than healthy animals. Though you'd think so, by how people express their admiration for the unfortunate little things. And while I'm being a cynic, similar things are said about "elderly" people too. Like "Look at this old grandma dancing" - and it's a 67 year old woman with decades of life and happiness still in her. It's like some people think life ends around 60 and after that anything you do is "amaaaaaazing" simply because you're so OLD. *quits whining* (And no, I'm not 60 yet. Or disabled. Or an ani... oh wait, that I am :) )

HooowlAtTheMoon
Community Member
5 months ago

Disgusting. Might as well be saying "LOOK, PEOPLE BEING PEOPLE EXCEPT THEY HAVE DISABILITIES SO YOU SHOULD LIKE IT MORE" thats like if there were an article about me, "GIRL WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS BREATHES WITHOUT HELP FROM TREATMENTS" i would get so pissed

soni w
Community Member
5 months ago

Forced empathy where the cue is words. Unable to feel genuine empathy in real situations where empathy is key to solutions.

John Topper
Community Member
5 months ago

I actually consider stuff like this to be a small (if incomplete) step in the right direction. The simple truth is that we have all been conditioned to think disabled people are inferior. Drawing attention to them doing simple mundane things at least humanizes them. One step at a time.

Hello
Community Member
5 months ago

Good point i guess, but I feel like it may be the opposite. It seperates people with disabilites even more. If it's normal for ablebodied people to do it, why should it be announced to the world when it's not? They are just living their life, and making it into a 'feel good' story is invasive and divides them even more.

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Colleen Garland
Community Member
5 months ago

So many of you think praising people with disabilities is awful or wrong. How many "regular people" have you seen that have been made little god's for what they did? Actors are the worst. They do something they like to do for a lot of money and praise. These people are working at a disadvantage. People praising them is wonderful. It maybe the day they remember the most. My sister was in the Special Olympics. I have no idea were she cam in but she couldn't have been happier. Maybe I shouldn't have clapped. Shame on me.

Hedonism Bot
Community Member
5 months ago

The problem isn't praising people with disabilities in general, it's praising them for mundane activities that the rest of us (and in most cases, others with the same disability) do all the time. Actors and athletes are at least doing something noteworthy with their lives.

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S. Tor Storm
Community Member
5 months ago

the point is? it's toxic to compare so wildly different disabilities? what?

• Lemønchu •
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

The point is that if someone has a disability and something that's normal for able bodied people happened/is happening to then it shouldn't make headlines. They're just living their life, nothing special.

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#6

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Proposing in front of a crowd. Puts a lot of pressure on the person being proposed to.

HeliosHeliodes , SpnkyHappy Report

Ivo H
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes, NEVER do that in public. Or (even worse) in front of family, or friends. The exception is, of course, if your spouse knows about it and agrees.

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#7

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Corporations who spend $50 million on ads to tell you about the amazing $1 million they spent on a charity program.

DeFex , Patrick Perkins Report

Somebody Here
Community Member
5 months ago

YES!

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#8

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic 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.

bluecatcollege , Johan Godínez Report

IzzieM
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes, people should stop doing this. Being supportive does not equate being positive. There's a difference.

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#9

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Instagram "influencers" promoting their "amazing" healthy lifestyles but in reality mostly staged/photoshopped and exacerbating mental illness, body issues, anxiety in young people.

forestcreature989 , kyliejenner Verified Report

SoozeeQ
Community Member
5 months ago

"You can lead an Influencer to a dictionary, but you can't make them think". - James Weir

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#10

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Touching women’s bellies when they’re pregnant. You don’t go around patting a penis to congratulate it on its successful ejaculation. Damn.

Hellifaks , Junior REIS Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
5 months ago

The "Patting a penis" part made me laugh 🤣😂

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#11

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.

Programmeter Report

SoozeeQ
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes, and they shouldn't be allowed to continue to breed. Same with those munchkin cats. Poor little things can't breathe.

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#12

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Asking your child "Who's your boy/girlfriend?" any time they interact with someone of the opposite sex.

freakishfrenchhorn , Kevin Gent Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes! I hate it when people assume there's something going on when you're just hanging out with your friends

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#13

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Badgering people to have kids. No, I’m not going to magically change my mind when I meet the right girl.

Cultist902 , Marisa Howenstine Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Having children was never on my agenda. It's great for people who want them. But, you really need to know yourself because it is a lifetime commitment, and you can't give them back. Besides, not everyone is fit to be a parent.

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#14

Dads trying to be weirdly aggressive/threatening to their daughter's bfs.

Baby_Belugas Report

Monday
Community Member
5 months ago

"LOL I met my daughter's new boyfriend at the door with my shotgun, isn't that hilarious!". No John, it's not funny and if you ever do that to my hypothetical son again I'm calling the cops.

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#15

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Family vlogging

Vasa_Vasorum_ , The Moore The Merrier Vlogs Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
5 months ago

Mainly because the kids usually have no say in this

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#16

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.

serendipindy Report

denzoren
Community Member
5 months ago

Youtubers..."It's a prank bro" is basically the lowest type of human.

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#17

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.

IniMiney Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
5 months ago

I have given food and money to people on the street but it never occurred to me to photograph it. So damn tacky and insulting to the person you are giving to.

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#18

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Using your child for likes on social media, that's creepy I never understood why would any parent do that

Kashboii , Sai De Silva Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago

It's amazing the things people do for 'likes' on social media. Some people have died, trying to get the right photograph.

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#19

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

VonSnapp Report

Pervinca
Community Member
5 months ago

The opposite is also a problem. Respect is the key

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#20

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Asking babies to hug and kiss people

Hills1849 , Mehdi Sepehri Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
5 months ago

MAKING babies/children hug and kiss people!

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#21

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Glorifying feeding animals into obesity

saladsnake34 , Mr TGT Report

Eslamala
Community Member
5 months ago

Same goes for kids!

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#22

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic School fundraisers.

If the government can't give schools enough funds, then everything is wrong.

exec_director_doom , Jeffrey Hamilton Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
5 months ago

I agree.

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#23

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic 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.

Clarpydarpy , Tyler Nix Report

Eslamala
Community Member
5 months ago

That's just pathetic!

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#24

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Teachers giving up their Sick Days for some other teacher can have days off for Cancer Treatments.

Rubeclair702 , Sharon McCutcheon Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago

Sick days should be given freely to those who need them. There is no reason why cancer treatments should not qualify.

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#25

"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

SlightlyArtichoke Report

Pittsburgh rare
Community Member
5 months ago

Every time I see someone quoting that, l run in the opposite direction

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#26

The idea that feeling anger makes you a bad person, or that you are obligated to forgive absolutely everyone who has hurt you.

ElectricYV Report

King Joffrey
Community Member
5 months ago

Feeling anger doesn't make you a bad person, displaying anger to people who haven't caused it does.

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#27

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Any viral story about some kid selling [stuff] to pay for a relatives healthcare.

natelopez53 Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
5 months ago

That's mainly an American thing

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#28

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.

DemocraticRepublic Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago

This practice is awful, and I do not frequent these types of venues. Dolphins are not here to entertain us or provide us with food, particularly in such a brutal manner. I wish people could just simply appreciate them.

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#29

Receiving recognition for perfect attendance. My ass that you never got sick.

Negafox Report

MargyB
Community Member
5 months ago

Covid has changed this. We now praise people for staying home

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#30

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic 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.

Background-Pop9203 , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago

I absolutely support my best friend. But, I will tell her if something is stupid.

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#31

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”.

Lizzwho Report

Iso
Community Member
5 months ago

great name

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#32

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).

TheKingofHearts Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago

My mom was very big on tough love. She would try to nag me into submission. All it did was build up my resentment toward her. Yes, there was backtalk from my part, which infuriated her even more. I laugh about it now, but trust me, I was a frustrated teenager and young adult.

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#33

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic All those fake animal rescue videos on YouTube.

Midlux Report

AJ
Community Member
5 months ago

Can't help thinking that when there's a demand for resque pets, doesn't that create supply of resque pets.

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#34

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic 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"

misterdudebro , airfocus Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago

This is just so sad. The education system should be properly funded by government, so there are less stories like these.

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#35

Spending so much time on social media to show everyone else how wholesome your life is.

sanchito88 Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
5 months ago

I hate it when people sugar-coat their lifes, its sad

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#36

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

petticoatwar Report

AJ
Community Member
5 months ago

Damn covid19 my partner has become about the only person I've seen in a year! Though we've agreed be both need a lot alone time now when neither of us barely have other relationships.

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#37

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.

hlfpint Report

angie but who cares
Community Member
5 months ago

some people are mad at having gay charecters in shows but will put baby girls in shat like this Screenshot...b3f9ed.png Screenshot-2021-04-15-85835-AM-6078389b3f9ed.png

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#38

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic "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.

Andromeda321 Report

Noez 🇸🇪
Community Member
5 months ago

Oh god yes, I have worked in a place like this.

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#39

People Expose 40 Things That Pretend To Be Wholesome Yet Are Actually Toxic Youtube kids channels. The ones aimed at older audiences are literally better for a child than the kids ones.

cringyfrick , The Sean Ward Show Report

Daria B
Community Member
5 months ago

To be fair, this is true for not only YouTube content.

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#40

News stories like "CEO sees employee dumpster diving for food and buys them a headlamp"

or

"Kid works manual labor to pay off school lunch debt for entire class"

Dire-Dog Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
5 months ago

But they were actual headlines and they do reflect how twisted the US society has become. It's amusing for outsiders, it's very sad for people living in the US.

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