Top 15 Common Things That Used To Be Taboo But Are Now Normal 

In the past, people didn’t always have the same freedoms we do today. Even simple things like women wearing pants or a girl calling a guy first if she likes him weren’t always accepted. Back in the day, there were things people thought were wrong but are okay now.

We have curated a list of the top 15 common things that used to be totally taboo but are now normal.

Breastfeeding in public

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Breastfeeding used to be seen as something embarrassing. People used to feel uncomfortable talking about it. However, today, more people understand how important it is. Laws say moms can breastfeed in public, and many places have special areas for them.


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People used to think that menstruation was gross or impure, which made many women feel ashamed about their periods. Now, more and more women are talking openly about their periods. They’re sharing their experiences, and groups are working to make sure everyone has access to sanitary pads, tampons, and information about periods. This is all part of breaking the taboo around menstruation.

Women’s maiden name

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Traditionally, after marriage, she would take her husband’s last name. However, now more women are deciding to keep their own last names even after they get married. They want to keep their own identity and not feel like they have to change. In the US, around 20% to 30% of women keep their own last name.


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When couples decided to end their marriage, people often saw it as a personal failure. Women used to feel ashamed due to judgment. But things have changed. Nowadays, more people understand that sometimes marriages don’t work out. So, divorce isn’t as looked down upon as it used to be.

Having a child without marriage

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Many couples today choose to live together without tying the knot. This is because divorce rates are high. It can be expensive to have a wedding and start a family. So many couples skip the old tradition of marriage. A report found that about three out of four women have lived with their partner by the time they’re 30 years old. Between 2006 and 2010, 48% of women moved in without getting married, which is up from 43% in 2002 and 34% in 1995. So, more and more couples are choosing to live together without getting married.

Men expressing emotions

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People used to think men shouldn’t show emotions. Emotions such as crying or being sensitive weren’t considered manly. This made it hard for men to express how they felt because they were afraid of being seen as weak. Now, it is believed that this idea is harmful, and it’s okay for men to show their feelings. This shift is making society more welcoming and supportive for everyone.

Being kids-free

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In 2019, about 3.75 million babies were born in the U.S., which is 1% less than the year before. This decline has been happening almost every year since 2007, except for a small increase in 2014. Earlier, most people thought having kids was a must. Nowadays, some choose not to have kids because they want to focus on other things,such as jobs or hobbies and financial conditions.

Late-night calls

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It used to not be okay to call people late because it could wake them up. But now, with fewer people using landline phones and more telemarketing calls, it’s possible to turn off your phone’s sound. Voicemail also helps because if someone calls you and you are unavailable, they can leave a message instead.

Girls wearing trousers

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Back in the 1960s, it wasn’t allowed for girls to wear pants. In 2013, a law in Paris that was 200 years old, saying women couldn’t wear trousers, was revoked.

Now, girls can wear pants if they want to. Some people still like wearing skirts and dresses. People feel happy about these old rules going away.

Same-gender relationships

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People used to have strong opinions about same-sex couples  marriages. Some states have made it legal, which shows that people’s attitudes are changing. Many famous people, like athletes, musicians, and actors, are talking openly about their sexuality. Even the rule that didn’t allow people in the military to talk about their sexuality got canceled a few years ago.

Gender role reversal in the proposal

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The introduction of social media and online dating platforms has made showing interest and making relationships more accessible. Today, there is no stigma associated with women making the first move in proposals. The Sadie Hawkins dance originated from a comic strip, offering a role reversal where women could ask men to accompany them. The concept evolved initially as a means for unmarried women with limited romantic prospects to engage socially.

Wearing a baseball cap outside a stadium

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Back then, wearing a baseball cap outside of a stadium was seen as a fashion blunder. People thought it was odd because baseball caps were mainly worn during sports. It was like wearing something unusual and attention-grabbing. So, wearing a baseball cap outside of a stadium was kind of like breaking a fashion rule, even though there wasn’t a law against it.


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In the past, when a woman needed an abortion, she had to keep it a secret and could only tell a few people quietly. However, things are better now. Women can talk about abortion without feeling ashamed or scared. This helps them feel stronger and gives them the power to make decisions about their own lives.

Interracial marriage

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Fifty years ago, it was rare to see couples from different racial backgrounds together. Now, it’s much more common, and people are okay with it. In fact, many people see it as a good thing because it shows that racial tensions in society are getting better.

Smiling in the pictures

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Back in the old days, getting your picture clicked was a big deal. People wanted to look serious and thoughtful. Even famous folks like Mark Twain would rarely smile in photos because they thought it would make them look foolish forever. In the 1920s and ’30s when cameras became more common, the people started smiling more in pictures.


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