12 Normal Things We Thought Were Totally Gross as Kids

I once heard that our taste buds change every seven years. Like, every seven years our bodies get a reboot and suddenly we start liking fish and tomatoes and dark chocolate. I don’t really buy the whole seven-years thing, but I do know that as we get older, we start enjoying (or at least tolerating) more stuff we once found absolutely revolting. And not just food.

It’s weird to think about being a kid again. We pretty much knew nothing. We were these little baby humans, basically brand new to the world, bamboozled about being alive and what life gave us to work with. We were easily scared because we weren’t experienced with anything. We were quick to judge, and quick to scream, “EWWWWW,” and start giggling like psychopaths. Now that we’re not little kids anymore (physically, at least!), our tastes have evolved. Maybe it did take seven years. Maybe it took three. Or twenty. Regardless, our perspectives slowly changed and now the grotesque is plain old normal. What we found nasty, is now a fact of life, such as:

1. Thongs

A string. That goes up your butt. Ten-year-old me would not be having ANY of this. Why would someone want to wear underwear that gave you a constant wedgie?

2. Olives

My dad tricked me into trying an olive. One day, we were sitting at the kitchen table, and my dad was fervently chewing on some Kalamata olives. I asked what they tasted like, because there was no way something so slick and dark could taste good. “Like grapes!” he told me. So I popped one in my mouth, expecting sweetness, and my face scrunched up into itself. Now? ALL the olives, please.

3. French kissing

Because sticking your tongue in someone else’s mouth is still kind of weird to think about, but some of us do it anyway.

4. Coffee

When I was little, I romanticized the idea of coffee. All grownups drank coffee, and it just seemed so cool to be sipping on that brown liquid in the morning with a newspaper splayed open on the table. But as soon as I tried a sip of my dad’s, I spit the molten liquid out immediately. It was so bitter. So hot. So not like CapriSun or Hi-C or any of my favorite beverages. Coffee is currently a staple of survival, so apparently I got over that distaste.

5. Diet soda

Yeah, why drink diet soda when you could have a sugary can of bubble water? Good question, former self. Good question.

6. Nail polish remover

It just seemed downright horrifying to watch people pour translucent blue or pink liquid that smelled like acid on their nail beds. I mean, I guess it kind of still is (have you ever had a gel manicure removed?!), but it’s a sacrifice we must make to keep our nail design fresh, am I right?

7. Face masks

Hey, I still terrify my fiancé whenever I walk out of the bathroom with a green face on. What was once a strange, gooey ritual is now a wonderful, wonderful luxury. In fact, I’m gonna go mask up right now.

8. Working out so much you soak through your clothes

Like, why would you ever want to move around so much that your clothes become wet with sweat? What seemed to us as outrageous and tiny bit mysterious, was later explained as, “When You Get Older You Have to Exercise Twice As Hard For The Same Results.”

9. Haircuts

THE HORROR! Getting a haircut wasn’t gross per se, but it was certainly uncomfortable and scary. For adults, it’s a relief we won’t have to deal with split ends and grown out layers, and a privilege that someone will cut those for us.

10. Skim milk

The thought of drinking milk that was practically see-through really grossed me out. Skim milk was not real milk. It was water pretending to be something it was not. I’m still not sold on skim milk, but alas. How else am I supposed to enjoy my latte without feeling gluttonous?

11. Armpit and chest hair

My dad has been bald my entire life. One day, at the pool, I suddenly noticed tufts of hair on his chest and under his arms. “Is that where you hair went?” I asked, terrified, and wanting to burst into tears, as though I too, would meet this fate. Armpit hair can be a nuisance, but it’s definitely not a horrifying experience anymore.

12. Periods

How old were you when you first learned what a period was? I was maybe five, and I thought my mom was dying. I had snuck up on her in the bathroom, and as she flushed, I noticed what was in the toilet. BLOOD. BLOOD was in the toilet. Of course I later learned this was completely natural, but at the time it was freaky. It was NOT cool. I can’t say I absolutely love my period now, but I DO appreciate its presence every month.

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