3 Cultural Norms that Used to be Taboo

Society constantly evolves, and we are evolving with it. Our beliefs, our relationships, our attitude toward various things have constantly changed – we now have a different definition for beauty and ugliness than a hundred years ago, one that will probably be considered obsolete and outdated one hundred years from now. Many controversial aspects of life have evolved with us from taboos we never spoke about to normal, acceptable things that show up everywhere – a praiseworthy development, showing that we, as a species, are capable of development.


Why do people get tattooed? Well, the reasons are as diverse as the people decorating their skin. There are tattoos that express community, fandom, and belonging. There are tattoos that can detect cancer and tattoos that have a deeper meaning, expressing something about the person wearing them. There are tattoos that are worn as a fashion accessory, others are nothing but cosmetics – eyebrow tattoos, anyone? Just like the tattoos, the reasons for which people decide to put them on their skin can be very diverse.

Tattoos were not always seen as an acceptable way of self-expression – in the “civilized West”, they were seen as a barbaric and primitive practice. In time, decorating one’s skin infiltrated the Western culture, first becoming a symbol of badassitude, later evolving into a means of self-expression.

And, contrary to popular belief, tattoos are no longer permanent – they can be eliminated after a change of heart.


Relationship experts all over the world are now considering the traditional monogamous marriage an outdated habit. As they put it, marriage was always just an institution meant to ensure inheritance and the perpetuation of a bloodline, having a lot more to do with money and land than with family relationships and emotional bonding. Monogamy has its merits when it comes to keeping the land and the money inside the family but when it comes to the emotional plain, it doesn’t serve its purpose. Luckily, like many other things, relationships – and their perception – have also evolved.

Hundreds of years ago, King Henry VIII of England invented divorce (he was probably growing tired of constantly having to behead his wives). Since then, marriage is no longer valid “’til death do us part” – and this is normal, if you think of it, considering that emotions are not everlasting either. Today, the number of marriages have hit a low, especially among the younger generations – after all, a couple doesn’t need a legally binding document to stay together. As for the land and the money… statistics show that today’s youngsters are short on both of them…


Prohibition doesn’t work – the history of the United States has shown us this much. Still, cannabis was the subject of a century-long prohibition – and it still is in the majority of countries. This is the best example of the authorities’ hypocrisy – while substances that are proven to be addictive and harmful (tobacco and alcohol cause hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of deaths each year, both directly and indirectly) are legal and regulated, a herb that has proven positive effects is banned and criminalized in the majority of countries. But the wind of change is blowing.

Uruguay was the first country to legalize the use and possession of cannabis, and its example was followed by Canada. In the US, there are many states that have also legalized it, even if cannabis is still illegal on a federal level. And there are many European countries where the recreational use of cannabis is tolerated or decriminalized, and where medical cannabis is legal and regulated. Soon, perhaps sooner than we think, cannabis may become a widely accepted, legal, and regulated product all over the world.