20 Taboo Concepts That Are Now Widely Accepted By Society

Published 1 year ago

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, said – “the only constant in life is change”. Yet, for all that we are aware that change is a necessity, it seems to be human nature to resist. Despite that resistance, change is inevitable as we have seen over the years.

The Bored Panda community stepped forward to share their thoughts on the myriad of changes we have gone through as a society either culturally or in our relationship ideologies and the insightful responses received are collated below.

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#1 According to an Emily Post Etiquette book published in 1984, it was not socially acceptable to ask a guest NOT to smoke in your home.

#2 Women being financially independent. Being able to have their own bank account, their own credit cards, and take out their own loans without having to have a man co-sign for them.

#3 Having babies out of wedlock.

#4 Telling your parents they’re wrong.

#5 Interracial marriages.

#6 Natural hair being accepted as professional.

#7 Tattoos. My parents cried and said I would never find a job.

#8 Cannabis use, especially (where it’s legal for recreation,) is much more acceptable than it was years ago.

#9 Being accepted and treated like a normal person despite having disabilities and disorders.

It wasn’t that long ago people with any form of mental, learning, physical and cognitive disabilities or mental disorders were put in mental hospitals and cruel asylums when all they needed was some extra help from an Aide or counseling. People would be mean and call slower kids the ‘R-word’, bully them and teachers would outcast them to a “special ed” program.

Some kids never even get an assessment or diagnosis because their parents would be more concerned about the social impact, or refused to cater to the thought bad marks were not the fault of their child.

Now, kids who need extra support or be somewhere quiet to do their work go to the resource rooms, which sounds more inclusive.


Maybe someone has already said this, I don’t know. Back when I was growing up it was considered bad manners to make an incoming phone call more important than the person that you were talking to, right there, in person. I am still appalled at how many people answer their cell phones even if you’re sitting right there in person talking to them. Seems like bad manners to me.

#11 Not answering your phone.

It used to be expected that if you were home and the phone rang, you picked it up. Then there were answering machines so we could screen. Then voicemail, and now we have a call display so you can just decline. I honestly never expect people to pick up if I call. Text is way easier anyway.


Accommodating neurodivergent people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still awful. But it’s a hell of a lot better than it was maybe 5 years ago. Whether it’s “autism hours” in supermarkets to lower risk of overstimulation or just not commenting on stims being “weird”, it’s definitely progress. It’s less taboo and less ignored now than it’s been in the past


The stigma surrounding mental illness has dissipated. We can now talk openly about mental health struggles and even take a mental health day off work. Mental Health struggles are being seen as legitimate and debilitating illnesses that used to be brushed off and people told to “Brighten up” or “Just get over it”


Mylar balloons aren’t good for the environment. They can short-circuit power equipment and lead to outages and fires. They can float for days and miles and return to earth as ugly litter that pollutes pristine places. They end up in the stomachs of countless land animals and sea creatures that eat them and die. They waste helium which is a finite resource. They are synthetic products that will never biodegrade. They’re pretty to look at but releasing them to ride the winds is irresponsible.


Being a witch/pagan although I did discover that in some countries it is still best to keep your pentacle tucked away,


1. Looking like you’re talking to yourself.

The in past you’ve been taken away to the crazy hospital. These days you’re most likely on your phone so you can feel free to talk to yourself all you want and just blame it on that, lol.

2. Being an actual crazy person.

It used to be if you were crazy they’d give you tin foil to play with and cart you off to a mental hospital because you shouldn’t be allowed in regular society. Now you can say things like believing the earth is flat. Or that school shootings where children have died and it can be proven are just ‘false flags’ and never happened. Or that the government is a conspiracy of snake people from another planet. And instead of a tin foil hat, you get elected to the house of representatives or a radio show making millions of dollars.

#17 Being openly gay. It used to be taboo and sometimes downright dangerous to be open about it. Now it’s no big deal and I think that’s awesome.

#18 Cosplay. Especially cosplay for people with disabilities or less-than-ideal bodies. I’m a cosplayer, I’m partially disabled and overweight, and no one bats an eye at the con when I dress up.

#19 Discussing private issues.

#20 Not dressing to the 9s when on an airplane. You used to essentially have to wear business suits/business formal when flying. Now comfy clothes are fine.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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change, ideologies, lifestyle changes, modern society, new normal, resistance to change, society norms, taboo concepts, things that should be more socially acceptable
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