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People Are Calling Out Wholesome Things That Are Actually Toxic, And Points Were Made

"Forcing children to hug relatives. It's their bodies."

We recently wrote up a Reddit thread where u/Uttervik asked the question, "What are 'wholesome' things that are actually toxic?"


And people offered so many more in the comments that we just had to share theirs too! Here's what our audience had to say:

1. "Gender reveal stunts. Seriously, if you're going to build a goddamn pipe bomb stuffed with blue sawdust to tell everyone your fetus has external genitalia, fuck you."


2. "I cannot stress enough how toxic family YouTube channels are! Stop using your children for clout and relevancy."


3. "Those 'inspirational' stories about someone inviting a kid with a developmental disability to prom, or a team 'letting' a disabled kid shoot a free throw or some shit. Oh, how amazing, you treated a person like a person! Congratulations! Ugh."


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4. "Telling people 'you can be everything you want to be' or 'you can achieve everything if you work hard enough.' That’s bullshit. It puts an enormous pressure on people because failure is always your fault for 'not trying hard enough.'"

"And in a very similar vein: Telling people that they just need to think positively or change their mindset to solve problems. Sometimes that just doesn’t work, and it’s not your fault for not thinking 'correctly.'"


5. "Teachers buying school supplies for their students isn’t a wholesome story. It’s an indictment of our failing education system!"


6. "Purity culture, especially for girls. My sister had an unbelievable amount of pressure to be a virgin. Those dad/daughter dances pledging they’ll stay a virgin are creepy AF!"



7. "One thing I find super toxic is our culture’s obsession with being happy all the time as the ultimate goal in life. No one is happy all the time, and it’s 100% okay to be sad when sad things happen or scared when scary things happen."

"I think our society puts way too much emphasis on perceived negative emotions being a bad thing, when being scared, sad, tired, angry, etc. are all just parts of the human condition. The societal pressure to stuff all those things down instead of finding healthy ways of expressing them is part of what’s driving the rise in mental illness in our society, in my opinion."


8. "People who post videos or pictures of themselves on social media giving to the homeless or some other charitable moment just for likes. Seems very forced and insincere, in my opinion."


9. "Giving overly warm feedback to men in relationships with women for doing basic parent/partner stuff, like putting away laundry, making dinner, setting appointments for the kids, etc."

"This isn’t something we tend to compliment women for, and sometimes we end up affirming the idea that men get to opt out of things like that."



10. "Photos of people 'posing' with animals like elephants, tigers, and orangutans while on vacation. National Geographic ran this beautifully written, incredibly sad piece about the extreme abuse and exploitation of show animals."

"It's not cute that the tiger wraps his paws around the little girl in an Instagram post; the tiger knows that if he doesn't, he'll be beaten or starved. It's horrific and tends to be presented as 'animals and humans getting along.'"


11. "'Good vibes only' people. So, okay, if I’m struggling, we can’t be friends? I can’t be vulnerable with you? It’s so dismissive and not chill at all."


12. "When dads take prom pictures holding shotguns with their daughter and her date."



13. "Idolizing burnout/bragging about it. Why can’t we praise someone for putting themselves and their needs first? Why can’t we brag about how we chose ourselves over other things? Burnout is clearly toxic yet highly regarded."


14. "Telling someone who is grieving that the person they’re grieving for is in a better place."


15. "Forcing children to hug relatives. It's their bodies; it should be their choice. I don't care if it's Grandma or Grandpa, an aunt or uncle. The child should be asked, and their response should be respected!"



16. "Toxic humility. I feel like women especially can’t take pride in positive traits or accomplishments without appearing 'stuck up.'"

"You’re supposed to walk around like, 'What? You’re impressed by little old me? Really?!' I can say, 'I think I’m smart' without it meaning 'I think I’m smarter than you.'”


17. And finally, "Proposing at someone else's wedding. Unless you have express permission from the bride, don't steal their thunder. It's not your goddamn day."


Which "wholesome" things do you find toxic? Sound off in the comments below!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.