Nothing is constant in this world except for change.
It can be a small change or it can be a radical change – whatever it is, the hope behind it is that it is a change for the better.
Although 50 years doesn’t seem that long ago, we have come a long way when it comes to the things that we believe in. There were beliefs five decades ago that have taken an absolute turn. We have become more accepting and more reasonable even if we are presented with concepts totally alien to us or that we totally disagree with. That was not the case 50 years ago because back then having strict beliefs have resulted in many things… and not necessarily things humanity can be proud of.
Let’s take a look at some of the most outrageous things that people 50 years ago used to believe in and will make you wonder, “if we believed that, how did humanity thrive?”
15. Exercise has nothing to do with being healthy
Although doing physical activities, which count as exercise, was an innate part of the society, people did not believe that it has a correlation with being healthy. In the olden times, people exercised because strenuous physical activities were part of daily life. People used to hunt for or gather food, cut trees and carry logs to make their own houses, and walk wherever they go because there were no cars around yet. When modernization arrived and people started getting lazy and fat, they were puzzled why people were getting heavier.
It was only in the early 1950s that a study surfaced, which showed that exercise is key in staying healthy. Dr. Jerry Morris did this study and it was the start of the revolution of modern exercise. Apparently, it was also the reason why fitness gyms started popping in key cities all over the world.
14. Sugar is not bad and not addictive
At present, no health professional will tell you that sugar is good. Actually, if you are trying to lose weight and have a healthier lifestyle, your doctor and your fitness coach will definitely tell you to cut down or even eliminate your sugar intake among other things. However, 50 years ago, sugar was not considered bad. Even if it gives blank calories, overeating sugar was not believed to have ill effects.
Due to this, there have been many studies done and published to reveal the bad effects of sugar. The rich sugar industry has been trying for decades to keep these bad effects a secret. Apparently, in the 1960s, sugar corporations funded studies to emphasize that fat is bad instead of sugar. Hence, the trend among food manufacturers was to cut down fat. Everything on the supermarket shelves back then was either totally fat-free or some percent less fat. What people didn’t know is that when you reduce or remove fat on food, it will taste really bad. To improve its taste so people will still buy them, manufacturers loaded their products with more sugar.
Today, there have been many proofs that show how bad sugar is for the health. Moreover, there have been pieces of evidence that show how addictive sugar is. Some experts even claim that sugar addiction is just as bad as cocaine addiction.
13. Laser is the frontier of future technology
About 50 years ago, laser technology was in its infancy. It was just born so almost everyone has no idea what else this technology can do. It was an exciting time for laser back then and almost all experts in the technology firmly believed that it is the future of technology.
One of the most popular applications of this technology was the laser eraser. Since people, mostly writers, were using typewriters back then, they felt extreme joy when they found out about laser eraser. This technology allowed people to delete mistakes made on a typewriter.
Yes, it made the use of the typewriter a lot easier but the laser eraser became obsolete when the typewriter perished. Although lasers are still used in certain applications like tattoo removal and eye surgery, but it isn’t as glamorous as they thought it would be.
12. Flight Attendants Must Retire When They Turn 32
This may be a simple yet shallow belief. It is the kind of thing that shows how we objectify people. If this belief still exists today, we bet you won’t hear the end of it on social media.
Being a flight attendant is considered a glamorous job. Moreover, to be a flight attendant, you should have the looks and the body to charm passengers. Hence, schools for flight attendants and companies who hire them keep a set of very high standards. Apparently, they even have a weight to maintain in order to keep their job. Also, if you get married or get pregnant, you need to instantly turn in your ID.
Before 1972, there was an age limit for flight attendants. When one turns 32, they have to retire. However, this was revised because there is really no need to put a limit on the age of a person providing you with drinks, food, and blanket in-flight.
11. The main role of women is to become a stay-at-home wife and mom
In the past, women were made to feel like they were second-rate human beings. They were expected to become stay-at-home wives and moms. That was the goal set in their minds. Hence, this is the reason why women of today can be seen fighting for equality and advocating about feminism.
Decades ago, there were even books that try to teach women how to behave in order to be called a good wife and a good mom. Apparently, it is the woman’s job to keep the home in tip-top shape. This doesn’t simply mean keeping the house clean but also keeping it calm and quiet when her husband arrives. Moreover, she should make sure that all the kids are well-behaved when daddy is home.
Aside from that, women were taught to consider their thoughts and feelings as less important as their husband’s. When he arrives home, he should be allowed to talk first and his thoughts should be considered more important than hers. These were some of the things required of a woman when she gets married.
10. No cursive, no future
Even in the early 1990s or 2000s, writing in cursive is a strict requirement in most schools. Apparently, kids are required to learn cursive because getting a university degree will require one to write everything in cursive. The most outrageous idea was imparting among children that failing to learn cursive will result in not having a great future.
Today, although writing cursive is still implemented in most schools, the need to learn it is not as strict as it was before. With the arrival of computers and other mobile communication devices, it is inevitable that writing in cursive may become obsolete.
9. Ice-pick lobotomy procedure
In 1946, Dr. Walter Freeman thought that he developed a groundbreaking medical procedure that will cure mental problems and depression. It was groundbreaking alright, but it wasn’t only the ground that it broke. The procedure is known as the “ice-pick lobotomy.” Yes, the doctor doing the procedure literally uses an ice-pick and jams it into the eye socket of the patient, which goes into the brain. The idea is to cut the emotional connection to the brain. Also, this procedure is done while the patient is wide awake.
Although the procedure appeared to work on some patients, some became mentally disabled or permanently paralyzed. Even if the procedure sounds super scary and it didn’t work 100% of the time, Dr. Freeman went around the country to perform lobotomies on a lot of people.
In 1967, this belief ceased when Dr. Freeman performed a lobotomy on a housewife who then died of brain bleeding. At that point, the public realized how barbaric the procedure was and that it was not a humane way to cure mental illness.
8. Pluto is a planet
Before 2006, they taught us in school that Pluto was one of the nine planets in the Solar System. However, in 2006, its classification as a planet was removed.
Although nothing about Pluto has changed from its discovery in 1930 to 2006 and after that, the definition of the word “planet” has evolved. Apparently, the International Astronomical Union came with a new set of guidelines of what a planet is. The rule that revoked Pluto’s license as a planet is that “a planet should clear the neighborhood of its orbit.” Apparently, Pluto has not yet cleared the neighborhood of its orbit so it has become a “dwarf planet.”
However, in 2017, NASA scientists are fighting for the reinstatement of Pluto as a planet. If the definition of a planet is tweaked again, even some moons might fall under this classification. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.
7. No such thing as rape between husband and wife
By definition, rape is an unlawful sexual intercourse between two people with or without force but without the consent of the other person. However, for so many centuries, people never considered the possibility that rape can exist even between a husband and a wife. It wasn’t until about 50 years ago that this concept was considered as a possibility. Before that, you can never bring your spouse to court and charge them with rape. Apparently, getting married meant instant consent for all sexual activities with your spouse. Hence, wives who refused to have sex with their spouses even became a basis for divorce.
6. Cigarettes cure constipation among pregnant women
Pregnant women experience a lot of discomforts and the most common is feeling constipated on a regular basis. Yes, you’re carrying a life inside you so you need to power through all the discomforts. However, that doesn’t mean they didn’t try finding quick fixes for pregnancy problems. About 50 years ago, it was believed that smoking cigarettes alleviated constipation among pregnant women. Doctors even advised their pregnant patients to smoke whenever they are constipated. Maybe it does but what they failed to consider were the underlying negative health effects smoking does to the mother and the unborn child.
When more researches on smoking were done and proved its negative effects (even to those who aren’t pregnant), that was only the time when they stopped recommending it to pregnant women. Today, the most common solution for pregnancy constipation is taking more fiber supplements on a daily basis.
5. ATMs don’t matter
Today, the ATM has become an important part of our daily lives. This amazing invention allows us to be very financially liquid because it gives us almost instant access to all the money that we put in the bank. However, looking back some 50 years ago or so, the ATM was not seen as a significant invention. Back then, the first machines only had prostitutes and gamblers as their frequent customers. Apparently, most people didn’t mind going to the bank and deal with the teller face-to-face.
To improve the presence of ATMs, they needed to pivot. They started building networks among banks so that ATMs can cater more people and provide added convenience. Apparently, it was only about 10 years ago when ATMs have penetrated the market. Before that, people didn’t consider the ATM as a machine they would rely on regularly.
4. Watching TV is bad
The television was invented in 1927 and it became prevalent sometime between the 1970s and 1980s. Prior to that, the television was considered a luxury that only the rich can afford. So, when the television was mass produced and mass marketed less than 50 years ago, almost every household got one.
With the increased popularity of the TV, more content for television became available. Hence, people got hooked on watching TV. Due to this, people believed that it was some sort of addiction that should go away. Hence, they enforced that watching TV is bad and they prevented people, especially their kids, from watching too much TV.
Today, the TV is almost taking a backseat in our lives. With the availability of more mobile devices like our phones and tablets, we now consume content in some other forms. And today, these newer devices are the ones being called evil.
3. Video games are dumb
The first video game system was invented in 1967. It is called “Brown Box” and the system was invented by Ralph Baer. The first video game system didn’t have it easy because many people didn’t believe that it would take off. Ralph tried to sell the concept to a TV company but they just didn’t buy it.
Today, video games are played on almost any console that you can imagine. You can play it on your massive flat screen TV. You can play it on your high-speed gaming PC. You can even play it on your smartphone. Video game systems have come a long way and at present, we’re at the frontier of new technology – virtual reality and augmented reality.
2. You can pray the gay away
We have come a long way when it comes to the topic of homosexuality and equal rights.
About 50 years ago, no one would have thought that two guys or two girls can get married, build a family, and have the same marital rights as straight people. In the past, virtually everyone believed that being gay is just a phase and that it can be changed. People believed that gays can simply go into therapy to fix the problem. Many people believed that being gay is a disease and like any disease, there should be a cure for it.
Fast-forward to today, even if a lot of LGBTQ individuals are still struggling to be accepted and even if gay marriage is still not allowed worldwide, the treatment has significantly improved compared to that past five decades. At present, people are no longer forced to undergo treatments like shock treatment, which was used in the past to cure being gay but has left a lot of people with irreversible mental disability.
1. Marijuana is an absolute evil
In the last 50 years or more, people believed that marijuana is total evil. It was thought as an addictive drug with nothing but only ill effects. There were even movies created portraying marijuana as a powerful narcotic, which ended up killing its users. Furthermore, people were led to believe that smoking marijuana can cause hallucinations and can make them commit crimes.
After more in-depth studies and tests, it was proven that marijuana is just as less likely to kill a user as other recreational drugs. Moreover, it was even proven to be safer than cigarettes, which we used to believe to cause no negative health impacts. Furthermore, there are even studies that showed how marijuana can be used to treat certain medical conditions like glaucoma. Hence, in the recent years, we became less strict with the use of marijuana such that laws legalizing it were passed.
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