Even though most of us trust our parents more than anyone in the world, the harsh reality is that parents lie. Whether they are selling us on a story to prevent us from getting into trouble down the line, using scare-tactics to make us behave ("That extra piece of chocolate will give you acne!"), or just passing along the warped truths their own parents told them, there are some stories our parents tell us that definitely need to be fact-checked. No, I'm not talking about hiring a private investigator to see if your childhood dog really went to live on a beautiful farm far away; I'm talking about digging into the beauty myths our parents told us that some of us still believe well into adult life.
Here's the thing about my parents in particular: They always left out a fact that would make the myth believable instead of completely terrifying. They told us Santa was breaking in to eat our cookies, but neglected to mention that, in return, he'd leave us presents.
At 21, my mother watched me sneeze, as if for the first time ever. Since we were fine-dining at the Olive Garden and since my sneezes are nothing short of a theatrical production, I chose to hold my nose and let a delicate "choo" fill the air. My mother looked up from her unlimited salad and said "If you hold your nose when you sneeze, your head will pop off. I've told you this 100 times." Um, excuse me? First off, this was the first I was hearing of it. Second, at age 21 I do not believe that a sneeze can cause someone to decapitate themselves. I narrowed my eyes at the woman who bathed me as a child, the woman who taught me how to wash my hair, pluck my eyebrows, and shave my legs. What ELSE was she hiding??
Well, not as much as my father who, it turns out, actually had a slew of beauty myths up his sleeve. After discussing the biggest whoppers with folks, I realize most of these beauty lies are innocent enough and not entirely harmful to our adult beauty routine. However, busting these beauty myths from our parents just may save you from unnecessary paranoia.
1. If you shave, your hair will grow back thicker and darker.
This lie is pretty popular amongst pre-teen girls especially. My own father told me this with great pleasure one day after I shaved for the first time. The project was to shave my legs — instead, I shaved my ENTIRE BODY. My father laughed at me and told me I would be looking like a gorilla in three weeks. Often times, parents don't know they're lying when they tell us this; it's a pretty common beauty misconception. According to sources at the Mayo Clinic, while shaving may give hair the appearance of a blunt tip growing in, it's def not going to make you a hairier human in the long run. Shave on, folks!
2. For every gray hair plucked, 10 more will grow back.
False. Your hair is not a vengeful part of your body looking to teach you a lesson just because you plucked out your first gray. Here's where the confusion lies: According to sources at Today, plucking those grays is only temporary, because the hair follicle is still there and will replace your plucked grey with another one. It will not, however, make you magically grow more follicles ready to sprout out gray hairs.
3. Cracking your knuckles will make them bigger.
I have been a knuckle cracker, a knee cracker, and an elbow cracker for my entire life. I crack my knuckles so much that I'm sure I came out of the womb that way. Of course, this is an incredibly annoying habit, so my parents told me that my hands would become enormous or, even worse, that cracking knuckles could cause arthritis. According to sources at Web MD, cracking those knuckles have not shown harmful or beneficial side effects. My own doctor has also stated this fact to me — too bad he refuses to call my parents and tell them so I can crack on freely.
4. Those tattoos will look horrible in a wedding dress.
I suppose it's a matter of personal preference, but the idea that tattoos will definitely look horrible when you don a wedding dress is just a lie. If anything my tats will accessorize the black wedding garb I plan to rock down the aisle (if I even get married, that is). I couldn't help include this fun myth from moms around the world since it seems to be quite popular. Honestly, you'll look good in whatever you put on as long as you feel good about yourself. Gawd, moms.
5. Chocolate Gives You Acne
This myth seems to be one that most of us believe well into adulthood. Oddly enough, cocoa butter and powder are amazing ingredients for cracked, dry skin and have a crap load of healthy nutrients. According to the Huffington Post, chocolate cannot be credited for giving you acne. Even though sugary foods can increase oil production, you'll have to look at your other skin habits to find the true culprit.