The power of advertising and marketing never fails to amaze me. There are jingles from my childhood that remain lodged in the recesses of my brain. Even though I know diamonds are common and therefore of low value, as gems go, I still struggled to look the other way when my engagement loomed. Programming is powerful, as is the need to follow the crowd, and companies know this and use it to their advantage.
So, without further ado, here are 8 more things you can try to un-learn, starting now.
#8. Multivitamins are totally useless.
It’s been proven. Not only that, but they can even be harmful in certain situations. We still believe they’re something we need to be taking every day because of a couple of rich, powerful lobbying groups.
#7. Hairy pits and legs used to be for ladies as well as men.
Before the turn of the 20th century, body hair wasn’t an issue, regardless of one’s gender. For one thing, women were buttoned up to the chin and down to the toes, so no one but your husband, children, and possibly your maid would have occasion to see your bare skin in the first place. For another, well…it’s just hair.
At least, that’s what we thought before King Camp Gillette took a look at the “new woman” emerging in the early 1900s and saw a way to double his profits. If he could convince women that the modern way was to shave your armpits (and later your legs) then he could sell his razor to women as well as men.
And that’s exactly what he did. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Gillette.
#6. No one used to care about body odor.
The only reason we care now is because one lady saw dollar signs when she realized her father’s hand-drying formula (he was a surgeon) also worked on her armpits. In a move that reminds one of the horribly named Oneders from That Thing You Do!, she called the stuff Odorono (Odor? Oh no!).
Shockingly (she wrote with sarcasm), it took quite the doing to convince people that they should care what they smelled like.
I have to say, I think we all might be better off if we didn’t. Just think how much money you would save on products alone.
#5. Having herpes is awkward.
Okay, it’s actually super awkward. Before 1975 no one really cared about the disease, however. It wasn’t until Burroughs Wellcome (what a name) came up with a drug to treat the symptoms that people started to like, notice they had it? I guess?
This virus might have been stigmatized by a drug company and all that, but I for one would rather not get it…so…
#4. Bacon wasn’t originally a breakfast food.
PR guy Edward Bernays was tasked with getting people to buy more bacon, so he decided to get a few doctors to say that a big breakfast is the key to a great day. Once he did, he shoved bacon and eggs, and voila. Heart attack breakfasts were born.
#3. No one took coffee breaks back in the day.
In 1952, an enterprising coffee company started showing advertisements featuring workers taking a few minutes to chat and have a cup of coffee. Within the year, some 80% of companies offered coffee breaks.
Talk about viral marketing.
#2. You should douche that stinky vagina, woman.
Lies. Vaginas are not only self-cleaning, but they maintain a delicate Ph balance that can be easily upset by the introduction of foreign objects (yes, including penises). Once again, you can thank the feminine hygiene industry for making you feel self conscious about smells coming from down there.
In reality, all you probably need is a shower.
#1. Bottled water is much better for you than tap water.
Um, except it is tap water. Womp-womp.
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