"Alcohol just isn't cool," Toyah Diebel states flatly. Toyah has been convinced of this since November 2018. At that time she was suffering from her last hangover and since then she "hasn't felt like getting drunk anymore".
Her attitude towards alcohol changed radically after her pregnancy and the alcohol break that came with it. So she diligently tests her way through the wide world of non-alcoholic alternatives. No more hangover days for Toyah. Instead of hanging over the glass, she prefers to hang in one of her many projects.
Thanks to her sometimes ruthless and satirical content, she has managed to build up a fan base on her Instagram channel "toyagurl". The #YourKindAuchNot campaign initiated against the thoughtless publication of children's pictures on the internet caused quite a stir.
Toyah not only takes a critical look at socially relevant topics. In her book "Women - Of spelled mothers, power women and other emancipations" she holds up a filter-free mirror to herself and society through small, shamelessly told stories - feminist, clever and with a wink.
The wink is also not neglected in her cosmetics line "milf", under which she brings out skin care for the abdomen, perineum and nipples. Thanks to her, women don't have to do without high-quality, sustainable beauty products and beautiful designs during pregnancy. In doing so, she literally gives new shine to the topic of body awareness and sexual self-determination of women. You can even wear it on your chest or finger with the right statement jewelry.
Toyah has also joined the podcast game. In her own podcast "Toyah but cheap", she chats with guests such as moderator and musician Jan Köppen, comedian Ines Anioli and journalist Visa Vi in an entertaining and honest Toyah way. An episode of her podcast “Weibers” with Leila Lowfire is also published every Monday. Between job, self-realization and playground, questions like the role of misogyny in the media are dealt with.
We also have a lot of questions for Jack of all trades Toyah. With us, she spoke about her relationship with alcohol and once again put her attitude in a nutshell. If you're not a Toyah fan yet, you will be after this interview at the latest. Have fun with it.
Laori: You wrote us "No alcohol for president". That's why we hereby officially appoint you President of Non-Alcoholic and ask you: What would you do to change something in society when it comes to alcohol?
Toyah: The first step would be to reduce or de-glorify alcohol consumption in the media, as has already happened with tobacco advertising. In the past, it was smoked in films and series. That has been abolished. A whole new attitude towards tobacco has emerged. It just doesn't belong in the "social party" anymore. It's the same with alcohol. As long as we watch beautiful people happily getting drunk on Instagram and movies, nothing will change. We're brainwashed from a young age that drinking alcohol is normal. A good glass of wine is part of a meal and a Prosecco and a schnapps are definitely part of a party - that's how we learned. Getting that out of your head goes a long way.
Laori: You definitely have our vote! How is your current use of alcohol?
Toyah: I can count on one hand how many glasses I've had in the last year. Intoxication is out of the question for me.I don't feel like being drunk anymore, not even drunk. There's no interest there. I try to abstain from alcohol as much as possible, but I wouldn't say that I refuse every glass of Prosecco forever. I would never drink anything during the day. And if I have an alternative, then I try to choose the alternative to alcohol.
Laori: Speaking of, where do you already have good alternatives?
Toyah: Actually, living as alcohol-free as possible was always a very difficult thought for me because it meant I had to drink Coke. A soft drink, and I don't like soft drinks at all. I was fascinated when I was introduced to the world of non-alcoholic alcohol because I didn't even realize it existed. Sometimes you just feel like having a good drink. I can understand that you don't feel like drinking a Coke at a party while everyone else is having an awesome Gin Tonic or Gin Basil Smash, which I absolutely loved. I find it difficult to give that up. But if you can have the same experience without going blue, that's great. And it's here now. I'm really excited about how many small manufacturers there are now. You always think: "Cool, then I have to drink Little Red Riding Hood alcohol-free or Jever Fun". But there is such a wide range and in Berlin Kreuzberg there is even a Späti that really only offers non-alcoholic drinks - bomb. It annoys me so much that I was brainwashed into thinking that giving up alcohol was supposedly uncool. Drinking non-alcoholic beer or wine, for example - that's not it. I find it sad that people still have that attitude, including me, until recently. Also that someone who doesn't drink alcohol is a party pooper, has a boring life and no sense of humor. Someone who doesn't even know how to have fun. It's really that intense.
Laori: When you don't drink alcohol, what do you answer to classics like: "Make an exception - once is not a time" or "Really, really now - why?!"?
Toyah: I find it most disarming when people say "I don't feel like drinking". Free from the liver. Or "I'm not good with alcohol, so I don't drink anything." What else is there to say to that? What I want to convey to others is that you don't have to let yourself be pushed into a situation to make up an excuse like "I'm taking antibiotics". These simple things like "You, I don't like it" or "I don't feel like getting drunk" are no argument for people who like to drink because they don't want to accept it. You want to justify why you drink. Nobody would say: "I have an alcohol problem and I can't do anything else".
Laori: Soberly, what's your newly acquired superpower?
Toyah: Clear to think about. That sounds so banal, but it's only since I stopped drinking alcohol that I realize how elementary it actually is. Only now do I realize how unclear I was before. Not only in the moments when I was drunk, but also in the days after. You only feel that alcohol destroys nerves after you have been without alcohol for a long period of time. You notice how the body and the brain regenerate. Not only because you feel fitter and can get up better in the morning, it can also have blatant mental effects. For example, I used to struggle with depression. It's really gone completely since I stopped consuming it. That's why I can't even say how valuable a clear head has become for me.Having a good memory, being fit and quick-witted wasn't possible before to the extent it is now
Laori: You speak of a longer time. How long do you think you have to be without it to feel these effects?
Toyah: I think you can do it for more than a week, So you should just try it out for two to four weeks. You can increase and see what happens to the body. I find that very fascinating. To be clear: everyone should drink alcohol if they want to. But I believe that everyone should really think about why and how much they drink. And if you play with the idea of not drinking anything for a month, see what feelings come up in me. Is it fear, panic or fear of loss?
Laori: When should alarm bells go off?
Toyah: If you're having a hard time giving up alcohol, you should do a little worry because it indicates a problem. If you can't do that, if you still allow yourself to be tempted, then you should think about whether your own consumption might be problematic.
Laori: Do you think non-alcoholic has the potential to be the new vegan?
Toyah: Difficult. I would just wish that drinking alcohol would no longer be taken for granted and that heavy drinking would no longer be accepted in society. Everything is trivialized. See "Day Drinking When the Sun Comes Up." That has a positive connotation. It's not. Drinking Aperol Spritz during the day, sorry, that's pretty badass. If it stays with one, then congratulations. It certainly never stayed with me. There are so many other substances, for example THC, marijuana. Why is this demonized and alcohol accepted? I do not understand that. You just have to think about it a little better.
Delicious non-alcoholic drinks would you like?
You feel the same way Toyah does and got thirsty for soft drinks? Then try our Laori Lemon - the non-alcoholic cocktail with bitter lemon. It is easy to mix and convinces with its citrusy freshness. You can find the recipe here.
Photos: Delia Baum.