Many of the freedoms we take for granted today weren't enjoyed by generations before us, believe it or not. And we're not just talking about the big things here, like legal pot or same-sex marriage. For instance, ladies, if you like wearing pants, be glad you're in the 2000s. Or guys, be grateful that it's totally cool for a girl to give you a call if she's interested.
We asked our Facebook fans to chime in on the things that were taboo when they were growing up. Here are nine things that used to be totally taboo -- and not so long ago. My, how times have changed.
1. Visible bra straps.
While we can all agree that nowadays, a visible panty line is a major fashion faux pas, it was considered inappropriate for your bra straps to peek out from underneath your shirt. Why? Because perhaps it just wasn't ladylike for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to see your alluring underthings meant for your spouse's eyes only.
Today, it's not a big deal to see bra straps. Nor is it odd to see women in their bras -- sports bras while out jogging, or bandeau bras under low cut tops, or heck, we've seen plenty a Hollywood starlet get caught under the lights going bra-less.
2. Girls making the first move.
Except for the Sadie Hawkins dance, guys who were shy, and the ladies who loved them were out of luck when it came to asking for a date. Rumor has it that the dance or day -- which all started with a comic strip, believe it or not -- was declared so that unmarried women with little or no prospects could have a shot at avoiding a life of spinsterhood. Thankfully, despite many self-help books that will tell you otherwise, there's nothing wrong with a confident woman nowadays making the first move or voicing her interest. Yes, women even propose to men these days. And it's only gotten easier (for both sexes) thanks to social media and online dating. More power to ya.
3. Living together or having a child outside of marriage.
"First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage...." err, not so much. OK, granted this is still shunned by some communities, religions, and families, you probably won't see many pregnant unmarried women walking around with a scarlet letter emblazoned on their clothing.
With higher divorce rates and a high cost of living, many couples nowadays are happy living together without the formality of a marriage. In fact, according to a National Health Statistics report, around three in four women have lived with a male partner by the time they're 30. That's up more than 10 percentage points since 1995.
4. Keeping your maiden name.
Too bad if you married someone with an unfortunate last name. Years ago you had no choice but to happily take your new husband's name, replacing your old identity, as a token of your new role and relationship. Avoiding the name change was considered taboo -- perhaps because it was seen as a slap in the face to your newly beloved or a sign of resisting your new family. A 2013 survey revealed that as many as 65 percent of women marrying in their 20s and 30s follow this tradition still.
But it's certainly more common today for a woman to hold on to her maiden name. Some Huffington Post readers revealed a variety of reasons for not following tradition, from the difficulty of changing something that's been your identity since you were born, to the way their maiden names sound, to the professional hassle of a change. Whatever your choice, we think love is deeper than double-barreling your moniker.
5. Asking a lady's age.
We still think you should never look in a woman's purse. That's just downright disrespectful. But age? It's just a number and nothing to hide or be ashamed of. We know that 50 is the new 30, or 40, or whatever you'd like to call it, and you should be proud of how many years young (not old) you are. Besides, with Facebook and Google, there's no point in lying about your age.
6. Phone calls after 9 p.m.
We sometimes wish this one was still taboo. Thanks to telemarketers and the death of landlines, it's no longer considered a huge no-no to call someone late. If you don't want to be bothered or have gone to bed, just turn off your ringer. Simple as that. Thank God for voicemail.
7. Girls wearing pants.
Some of our readers recalled how they weren't even allowed to wear pants in high school in the 1960s! Just last year a 200-year-old law preventing women in Paris from wearing trousers was finally revoked. (It had been unenforced.)
Yes, skirts and dresses are pretty, but we're quite certain you can still be unladylike while wearing one. Good riddance.
People still have their opinions on getting inked, whether for religious or cultural reasons or whatnot, but the stigma associated with having tatts just isn't what it used to be.
"Only drunken Navy/Army men would get them. My husband told me that back in the day (50-70s).... when soldiers were "on-leave" and they got drunk.... their buddies would bring them into tattoo parlors and coerce them into getting a gross tattoo. When they woke up in the morning, they couldn't remember getting the tattoo," recalled reader Pinsey Christensen.
"I got mine in 1981 and although it's hidden daily, on the beach you can see it. Well, I remember a woman GRABBING her child and drawing him near as if I was a danger... lol. It's a small unicorn on my hip," said reader Lorna Ann.
Clearly, people's close-mindedness towards tattoos are the only thing scary about them.
9. Being anything other than heterosexual.
Sure, this still is and probably will be for a very long time, a hot button issue. But with several states legalizing same-sex marriage , it seems the tides are changing in terms of attitudes and open-mindedness towards freedom of sexuality. Let's not forget, even the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was repealed in recent years.
Plus, with so many successful people and household names talking openly about their sexuality, from professional sports, to music, to Hollywood, it's clear that even if not everyone is accepting, we're at least open to talking about it much more so than before.