20 Things From the 1970s That Are Unacceptable Today

Step into the time machine and set the dial to the 1970s, a decade of disco, bell-bottoms, and some rather questionable choices. While the ’70s gave us iconic music and groundbreaking TV, not everything from this groovy era would get a green light today. From fashion faux pas to cultural attitudes we’ve thankfully outgrown, let’s explore the quirky and the questionable of this vibrant decade.

#1. Flamboyant Glam Rock Outfits

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1. Flamboyant Glam Rock Outfits

Glam rock brought us some of the most unforgettable and extravagant fashion choices, complete with platform shoes and glitter galore. Today, while we love nostalgia, turning to the office in full Ziggy Stardust gear might raise a few eyebrows.

#2. Psychedelic Wallpaper

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2. Psychedelic Wallpaper

Those dizzying patterns and bright colours were all the rage for interior decor. While fun, today they’d likely be more headache-inducing than trendy.

#3. Casual Sexism in the Workplace

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3. Casual Sexism in the Workplace

From gender-biased job ads to unequal pay, the workplace in the ’70s was not a friendly place for women by today’s standards. Thankfully, strides towards equality have been made, although there’s still a way to go.

#4. Lax Smoking Regulations

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4. Lax Smoking Regulations

Lighting up a cigarette in offices, planes, and even hospitals was common. Now, understanding the health risks, smoking is banned in these and many other public spaces.

#5. The Bizarre Popularity of Aspic

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5. The Bizarre Popularity of Aspic

Gelatine-based dishes were considered the height of sophistication for dinner parties. Today, most would politely decline a quivering mound of meat and vegetables encased in jelly.

#6. Wearing Seat Belts Optional

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6. Wearing Seat Belts Optional

Car safety was taken a lot less seriously, with many vehicles not even equipped with seat belts. Now, buckling up is second nature and legally required for safety.

#7. Racial Discrimination

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7. Racial Discrimination

Overt racism was unfortunately common, with discrimination in jobs and housing. It’s a stark reminder of the importance of continuing to fight against racism and promote inclusivity.

#8. The Energy Crisis Mismanagement

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8. The Energy Crisis Mismanagement

The response to the energy crisis, including extensive blackouts, feels like a cautionary tale for today’s energy policies, which aim towards sustainability and renewable sources.

#9. Punishment in Schools

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9. Punishment in Schools

Corporal punishment in schools was an accepted form of discipline. Nowadays, it’s rightly seen as an inappropriate and harmful practice.

#10. Synthetic Fabric Overload

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10. Synthetic Fabric Overload

Polyester and other synthetic fabrics were everywhere, often in eye-searing patterns. While practical, they’re not exactly breathable or environmentally friendly by today’s standards.

#11. Proliferation of Lead-Based Paint

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11. Proliferation of Lead-Based Paint

Used in homes across the country, lead paint’s health risks were not fully understood. Today, its use is heavily regulated due to the dangers of lead poisoning.

#12. The Casual Bum Pinch

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12. The Casual Bum Pinch

What was once dismissed as harmless flirtation is now recognized for what it is: harassment. Society has shifted towards a greater understanding and respect for personal boundaries.

#13. Unsupervised Kids Roaming Free

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13. Unsupervised Kids Roaming Free

Children often roamed far and wide without supervision, which would give today’s parents palpitations. While independence is good, safety is now more of a priority.

#14. Heavy Drinking Culture

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14. Heavy Drinking Culture

While enjoying a pint is still a cherished British tradition, the ’70s took it to another level. Today, there’s a greater awareness of the risks of excessive alcohol consumption.

#15. Using Asbestos in Everything

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15. Using Asbestos in Everything

Asbestos was a go-to for insulation and fireproofing until its dire health risks were revealed. Its removal now requires strict safety measures, a far cry from its ubiquitous use in the ’70s.

#16. The Three-Day Week

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16. The Three-Day Week

Implemented in response to the energy crisis, the three-day workweek was a drastic measure that’s unimaginable today, highlighting the importance of energy security and economic stability.

#17. Questionable TV Game Shows

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17. Questionable TV Game Shows

Game shows in the ’70s could be outright bizarre or unintentionally offensive by today’s standards. While we love retro TV, some things are better left in the past.

#18. Overuse of Pesticides

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18. Overuse of Pesticides

Agriculture’s heavy reliance on pesticides didn’t take into account the environmental or health impacts. Today, there’s a push for organic farming and safer pest control methods.

#19. Excessively Wide Bell-Bottoms

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19. Excessively Wide Bell-Bottoms

Bell-bottoms so wide you could clean the floor with them were all the rage. Fashionable then, but a trip hazard by today’s standards, proving that sometimes, less is indeed more.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

And there you have it, a whirlwind tour of the ’70s and its many moments that wouldn’t quite fit in our Instagram feeds today. While we can chuckle at the questionable fashion and cringe at the outdated social norms, it’s clear that progress is a beautiful thing.

The post 20 Things From the 1970s That Are Unacceptable Today first appeared on LoveLists.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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