Have you ever found yourself doing something, or most likely not doing something, just because it’s against the social norm? Social niceties and manners are essential. We should be thoughtful and treat others with respect and kindness. However, I’ve found that most things considered socially unacceptable do no real harm or offense to anyone. So: remember to mind your manners, but when it comes down to what others think of you, pay no mind.
1.Forgetting To shave
The practice of women shaving their underarms and legs (or as A Quick History of Women & Shaving puts it, “objectionable hair”) is a fashion trend that dates back to the 1920s. Almost a century later, a simple fashion trend has turned into an essential grooming routine. Your body hair is natural, beautiful, and part of you. If you pluck, trim, or shave for the convenience of others, don’t. And if it’s any consolation, no one is staring at your ankles, anyway.
2. EATING ALONE AT RESTAURANTS
I frequently go out to eat by myself, regardless of my current relationship status, but many women cringe at the thought of saying “Table for 1.” Eating alone is not a statement of independence or an act of woman’s empowerment. It’s an act of self-courage that you can find enjoyment in your own company.
3. SINGING BECAUSE YOU FEEL HAPPY
Maybe you’re a classicly trained vocalist. Or maybe you’ve been naturally gifted with a voice like Adele’s. Or maybe you’re tone deaf. I don’t see why your talent should keep you from singing when you feel good or you just want to jam. You aren’t performing for anyone, and you should never be afraid to express yourself.
4. SHOWING A STRANGER KINDNESS
How did this ever become a bad thing? Don’t be so overly cautious of strangers that you forget we are all human. Give a twenty to the begging man on the street. Hold the door open for a mother and her children. Pay it forward.
5. REPEATING OUTFITS
This is a fashion no-no for no good reason. You slayed on Monday. Slay again on Tuesday.
6. REPLYING HONESTLY TO “HOW ARE YOU?”
Sometimes we feel the need to always appear calm and collected like we have it all together. If you aren’t fine, don’t lie. There should never be shame in asking for help and comfort.
7. MAKING THE FIRST MOVE
Tradition says that the man must ask the lady on a date; the woman must be pursued, not be the pursuer. But don’t we all want to be pursued? Why should our gender affect our pursuit of happiness? Why wait when you risk losing a shot at love? Disregard the dating rules and go for who you want.
8. POSTING MORE THAN ONE PHOTO IN A DAY ON INSTAGRAM
This is one of those unspoken rules. You know it’s not cool to “double post.” Why? It’s your life, it’s your Instagram. Anyone who complains about how often you post can just click that unfollow button.
9. SKIPPING OUT ON PLANS BECAUSE YOU’RE TIRED
We feel the need to make up excuses for why we can’t hang out, when honestly, we just need rest. When did being worn out become an illegitimate excuse? True friends will understand that you need sleep or time to be alone.
10. TALKING ABOUT POLITICS OR RELIGION
It’s an age-old social custom that politics and religion don’t make for polite conversation. But in this case, old age does not equate to wise. You have opinions, a voice, and a valid viewpoint. Anyone who is afraid to discuss these topics is afraid of their own ability to share knowledge and humbly learn from others.
Image via Clara Early