Times have obviously changed, but when you're young, it's hard to conceive of just how much they've changed just in the last decade. Even if you have lived through a few decades, it's easy to forget that some things that are normalized now used to be really weird.
Well, recently, Reddit user u/FCFSDeals asked, "What’s now weirdly acceptable in 2022 that was not acceptable growing up in your generation?" and it was a great look back at how things used to be. Here are 34 things that are pretty normalized now, but that people were given crap for — or things that just didn't exist — back in the day.
1. "Being emo/goth, liking anime, and video games. [I was] constantly made fun of for all of it, now it's an aesthetic."
2. "Being into nerdy activities is now cool. Like, if you even openly liked Nintendo [back in the day], you could get beat up."
5. "In general, men caring about their looks. Of course everyone, men included, still cared about their looks back then, but you had to make it look like you didn't care. You could spend hundreds of dollars on hair products that made it look like you had bed head, and spend time (and in the early 2000s, money) on distressed jeans that looked like they were worn out and threadbare."
6. "I swear to the gods that all of the fashion that was mocked and made fun of in the '80s and '90s is now what's cool."
"I remember 'you shop at Value Village' being a popular insult on the schoolyard. An unfortunate side effect of thrift shopping becoming mainstream is that prices at thrift stores have gone way up."
"Going to thrift stores. It used to be a bit embarrassing and something to hide. My mom used to tell me to tell people I bought it somewhere else. Now when I tell people I thrifted a piece they’re impressed!"
8. "Now you can talk to celebrities on social media by commenting on livestreams and tweeting [at] them. Whereas decades ago, you had no access to them at all unless you personally knew them, were related to them, or won a chance to meet them. They were considered untouchable. Now if they do something stupid, you can let them know in minutes."
9. "Taking photos or video of people doing absolutely nothing wrong just going about their day and posting it on the internet without their knowledge or permission."
"I'm constantly terrified of falling over or having some mishap in public or doing anything beyond boring because somebody will post it on the internet without asking or me even knowing. ... I miss the days I could go out without everything being recorded and posted without permission."
10. "Not answering the phone. When we only had landline phones (yes, a long time ago), there was no ringing phone that went unanswered. Now we screen or just plain ignore calls until we are good and ready to deal with it."
13. "Body piercings also exploded in popularity. It used to be that girls could get their ears pierced, and that was it. When I was in high school, some guys started doing the one earring look and tongue, nose, and bellybutton piercings were starting to become popular."
15. "Any type of hair coloring would result in serious trouble at school."
"Kid in my HS had a little bit of frosting in his hair (early '00s when frosted tips were becoming popular). Nothing crazy at all. The teachers told him to 'wash it out' and literally could not comprehend that he couldn't just toss some water on it and make it go away. They actually tried to tell him if he didn't shave his head he would get detention until it was all gone."
"In sixth grade, I used a color applicator (it was like a mascara wand) to put blue streaks in my hair, with full permission from my mother. At school, they sent me to the nurse's office and made me wash my hair in the sink. Body autonomy was not really a thing even as recently as the late '90s."
18. And also, using the internet and the phone at the same time.
"'Get off the internet, I'm waiting for a call!' is something I haven't said for a couple decades, lol."
19. "Staying at home and working. Sure, most boomers still say that 'work that doesn't take you out of home' isn't 'proper work,' but at least now it's easier to get a job that is WFH. Even more so after the pandemic."
20. "Wearing sneakers to work at a Fortune 100 company. At the beginning of my career, it was suit and tie, then business casual, and now I wear Stan Smiths, jeans, and an untucked polo in the most senior position of my working life."
"My dad was a suit and tie guy. So were most of my uncles. Hell, I had button-ups and ties are my first couple of jobs. Now it's jeans and no tie, colored button-up shirts, and tattoos are okay. The feel of how an office runs is vastly different than it was 30 years ago."
21. "Jeans and sneakers at retail jobs (supermarket, Target, Walgreens, etc). When I had jobs like that as a teen in the '90s, that was a big no-no…dress code was always khakis/dress pants and some kind of dressier shoes."
"Totally this. I got written up at Sears when I was 16 because I didn't have dress shoes on and then another time because I didn't have a belt on. My shirt was literally tucked into my khaki pants, but I had just forgotten the belt (I went there straight after school)."
22. "This is female-specific, but stockings. When I was growing up, women wore stockings with business, business casual, or Sunday best wear. ... By the time I attended my first wedding as an adult, that had changed. My mom tutted at me for not wearing stockings to a wedding in a church (in a conservative city in the South no less), then noticed when we got to the wedding [that] none of the other women under 50 were wearing stockings either. She has since asked me if I wear stockings to work (literally never). It’s to the point where most people my age [see] wearing flesh-colored, white or sheer black nylons as something you’d only do if you’re older and quite conservative."
23. "I would have never guessed as a young lad that cannabis would be recreationally legal, and I could just drive down the street to a store and purchase edibles, flower, concentrate, hash etc. etc. And how now it's nearly taboo to smoke cigarettes? What a flip."
25. "Access to porn."
"I remember the excitement of walking along and finding a discarded nude magazine in a field or woods I was taking a shortcut through."
"Victoria’s Secret catalogs were like a gift from a benevolent god. If you found an actual Playboy or Penthouse your dad had stashed somewhere, it was pretty much the holy grail."
26. "Spent my whole life being taught to never get in a stranger's personal car. Now we have a whole business model built around it."
27. "Sharing your personal information on the internet. In the late '90s and 2000s, it was, be careful, stay anonymous, and don’t share any personal information. Now we put everything on the internet."
"I remember around 2000, we had a college assignment to make a webpage, and people were like, 'I don’t want my NAME on the internet!'”
28. "Middle/high school students being allowed to have their cell phones in class. Being caught with our cell phone when I was a high schooler was an automatic detention."
"Yeah, I started high school in fall 2013 and graduated spring 2017. I got a front-row seat to that transition. My Freshman year, there were teachers that would write you up just for being able to see your phone through your pocket, but by my senior year, we were using our phones for half our assignments and scrolling through social media if we were bored. Really weird transition. Just a strange era to grow up in in general."
29. "Fathers taking care of their children. When I grew up, it was more acceptable for a dad to hand off their baby to their eight-year-old niece (me), than to change a diaper. Also, god forbid a child was naked around a man — that was taboo."
"My husband is a stay-at-home dad, and he ALWAYS got comments like, 'oh, stuck with baby sitting duty, huh?' or 'oh, spending some time with daddy, huh?' It drove him nuts. That was only eight [or] nine years ago, when our son was an infant."
30. "Politicians acting like they were raised on the Jerry Springer show. Even if they didn't agree, they could at least be civil. Now it's a white trash free-for-all."
"I'm not even that old (30s) and the complete collapse of decorum in American politics is really troubling. Used to be [that] going after someone's family was off-limits, period. Not to mention name-calling!"
31. "Talking about politics at a party/social event. In the late '90s, 'who I vote for is none of your damn business' was a common quote. People called you a party pooper if you brought anything remotely serious at a party. A month ago, a stranger went on a rant about COVID mandates and wanted to play YouTube conspiracy videos at a house party."
"I was brought up that you didn’t discuss politics or religion at parties or social events. They were considered to be private matters."
32. "Saying you met your significant other online. When I was in high school, I only knew one guy who said this (and the girl was in another state). His social standing plummeted."
"In 1997, I was 14. I met a 16yo boy in an AOL Teen Chat. We talked on AOL only for almost a year — my mom was involved, she did some due diligence and she let us meet IRL. We've been together ever since. We've been married for 18 years and we have three kids. About five people knew we met online at the time — we told NOBODY. Even still today, I hardly ever tell people. Our kids know, our families know; that's about it."
"My wife and I met online, and early on we would lie to some people as to how we met. That was 2010."