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People Share Things That Seem Wholesome But Are Actually Toxic

Wholesome and feel good stories are everywhere nowadays. Videos of influencers giving a homeless person money, a class giving a student new shoes because theirs were worn out, or a video of a sick child requires taking advantage of someone else on the spot for the video to go viral. It’s called inspiration porn and it sucks. It makes other people feel good to watch but it doesn’t actually do good. 

People on Reddit are answering the question, “what are “wholesome” things that are actually toxic?” Their answers are all things that probably bothered you in the back of your head but never really put your finger on. Truth is, they all suck and it’s good they’re getting called out. 


1. Please don’t do this.

“Using your child for likes on social media. That’s creepy, and I never understood why any parent would do that.” –u/Kashboii

2. Sort of takes the fun out of it.

“There are fake animal rescue videos where people deliberately put animals (mostly pets) in dangerous situations and then film how they ‘rescue’ them. It’s not wholesome — it’s animal abuse!” –u/Ereska

3. The more time you’re on social media, the less time you’re living your life.

“Spending so much time on social media to show everyone else how wholesome your life is.” –u/sanchito88

4. Something isn’t adding up. 

“Corporations who spend $50 million on ads to tell you about the amazing $1 million they spent on a charity program.” –u/DeFex

5. It makes it worse for everyone.

“Instagram ‘influencers’ promoting their ‘amazing’ healthy lifestyles, but in reality [are] mostly staged/photoshopped and exacerbating mental illness, body issues, and anxiety in young people.” –u/forestcreature989

6. Your “chonky” cat is really unwell.

“Glorifying feeding animals into obesity.” –u/saladsnake34

7. Let kids be kids.

“Family vlogging.” –u/Vasa_Vasorum_

8. Pay teachers more! 

“Teachers working overtime or sacrificing for their students/fundraising for anything. Most news articles that hit national headlines about teachers are toxic.”

“Student raises money for his former teacher found living in a car” [or] “Principal works second job to help homeless students have clean clothes and food.”
u/misterdudebro
“I taught in the inner city, and it was expected that your entire life was the school. My friends watched that Hilary Swank movie about her teaching in the city and told me it was so inspirational, and I should watch it…It was actually one of the reasons I LEFT the city. She gave up everything for her job: worked three jobs to afford it, lost her marriage. Like, no. That is not wholesome. At all.” —u/amberalert23

9. It’s so sad.

“Any viral story about some kid [having to sell things] to pay for a relative’s healthcare.”
u/natelopez53
“Any of those stories about children working to pay for a family member’s medical costs, paying off their friends’ school lunch debt, etc. is absolutely NOT wholesome. That is not something a child should have to worry about.”
u/mapsforthegetaway_

10. Maybe we should end these. 

“Beauty pageants.”
u/Chopper3
“Even worse: child beauty pageants.”
u/Domshous

11. It’s okay to fail. 

“People who tell you, ‘You wont fail.’ I get what they are trying to say, but there is a certain point where I just want to hear, ‘It’s OK if you fail.'”
u/Joshi3003

12. If they say no it’s time to go! 

“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.”
u/Clarpydarpy

13. They’re 4 years old. 

“Asking your child, ‘Who’s your boy/girlfriend?’ any time they interact with someone of the opposite sex.”
u/freakishfrenchhorn

14. Moms need lives too.

“The ‘martyr mom’ idea that you have to sacrifice 100% of your life for your kids. Absolutely parenting takes sacrifices, but I have seen some people act like they can’t do ANYTHING for themselves anymore because they have children.”
“For example, a woman I work with ended up with a half day at work while her kids were at school, so she had 3-4 hours of unexpected free time. I suggested she got get a mani-pedi or something else fun for just her. She told me, ‘I could never do that, I have kids!’ Lady, your kids are safely at school, and this is found time. It doesn’t make you a better parent to neglect yourself, especially when it isn’t even necessary.

A few people have said that it might be about the cost of the mani-pedi. This was just an example of one of my suggestions. She literally told me she could not do anything for herself because of the kids, not watch a movie or go for a walk despite having an extra half day of time. You don’t have to be puke-covered, unshowered, and unhappy to be a good parent.”
u/sensualsqueaky

15. Cut people out! 

“The expectation to keep your family members in your life no matter what they do. Some people have families that treat them like absolute s***, and being related to them isn’t a good reason to keep them around. It’s OK to cut off toxic family members.”
u/Weirdo_666_420

16. Have a healthy work life balance.

“Hustle culture.”
u/Axes4Praxis
“‘What? You aren’t grinding yourself into a fine red paste at your job, coming in early, leaving late, working weekends, and paying for your own training? What do you mean you don’t have a side hustle and passive incomes? Are you even trying? Haven’t you found your purpose and started a business yet? What are you even doing?’ UGH.”
u/ParticularWingspan

17. That’s how you end up with bad parents.

“Badgering people to have kids.”
u/Cultist902

18. Turn around and leave.

“‘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 exploits you.”
u/Andromeda321

19. No one is perfect. 

“Supporting someone no matter what choices they make. You can love someone to the ends of the earth, but that doesn’t mean they will 100% be right all of the time, no matter how much you love or admire them.”
u/Background-Pop9203

20. I’ll embarrass you. 

“Proposing in front of a crowd. Puts a lot of pressure on the person being proposed to.”
u/HeliosHeliodes

21. It’s okay to be negative. 

“Toxic positivity. When someone’s having a really hard time and you tell them to stay positive or try to look on the bright side.”
u/bluecatcollege
“Always saying ‘cheer up’ or ‘choose to be happy’ is really hard to be around when you’re depressed, and it really makes you feel guilty for feeling something other than 100%. Speaking from experience.”
u/Salty_Boysenberry