Over the years, “wellness” and “self-care” have become trending terms that generate a lot of buzz. While wellness and self-care are extremely important, the terms are also being used to sell women products that – although mostly harmless and fun – aren’t overall necessary nor very conducive to wellness. Now, it seems that even Barbie decided to get in on the trend and adapt to the changing tides.
What Does Self-Care Barbie Stand For?
Mattel recently released their new Barbie Wellness collection. The company stated that this collection is meant to teach about the benefits of self-care through play. The collection does so by teaching girls self-care routines such as meditation, self-care, and physical wellbeing. This collection will include a meditation doll that guides you through five stages of meditation, a fitness doll in a sporty outfit with a protein bar, and a spa doll. The playsets that come with this collection include bubble baths, manicures, facials, and similar items. Cute, thematic, and probably very well-intentioned, but perhaps confused about what wellness means.
Does It Send the Right Message?
Even if this new collection isn’t supposed to imply that young girls should start spending their allowance on this type of self-care right now, it is implying that spa days and beauty treatments are what it takes to be a well-adjusted, functioning grownup. If the goal was to actually show young girls what physical and mental wellness are really about, there are far more important values to focus on, like timely doctor’s checkups, healthy lifestyles, and the value of psychological self-care.
Although it is clear that the company had good intentions behind this collection, which is an effort that should certainly be applauded, it proves once more that we are all a bit confused about what proper wellness and self-care are. What’s certain is that these words have become an excellent marketing tool for a generation eager to lead healthier lives.
We live in a world that changes quickly and a lot of that is thanks to the innovations surrounding technology as well as changes in society itself. Due to that, there are many things that we do today that wouldn’t have made any sense to someone 50 years ago. Keep scrolling to see 40+ examples of some of these mindblowing things…
Using a Phone So Much
There are plenty of aspects of the invention of smartphones and cellphones that would leave someone 50 years ago more than a little confused.
One of the most basic concepts that would cause confusion, though, is the idea of using a phone so often. While phones were once purely for communication through phone calls, we now look to our phones for everything — calls, texts, entertainment, and even basic tools like calculators and flashlights. That much time with a phone in your hand would be hard to understand.
With the advent of recording our favorite TV shows through DVR and similar methods, it’s no surprise that we now have a little more freedom in how we watch the shows we keep up with.
Once, it was just a part of watching TV to have to sit through minutes of commercials periodically throughout your programming. That’s why it would be so shocking to someone 50 years ago to see someone breeze through commercials that they didn’t want to watch.
Pausing Live TV
In the same vein as skipping commercials, it would be shocking for someone in 1980 to see you pause a show you’re watching on your regular cable programming.
There was a time that if you missed a show when it came on, you just missed it. If you were lucky, you could catch a rerun to learn about what you missed. The ability to pause the show if you need to go into the other room or run an errand would leave any time traveler stunned.
Calling for Location
Phones have been around for a long time. In fact, the first phone was invented in 1876 by Antonio Meucci. However, by their nature, these phones were stationary.
Even within the last few decades, the concept of having a phone outside of your home is new. Now, with the help of the invention of smartphones, you can call anyone from anywhere. If you told someone 50 years ago you were going to call your friend to see where they were, it’d probably raise some questions.
As we just covered, a lot about the nature of what we consider a phone has been revolutionized over the decades. That includes the capability of texting.
If you wanted to talk to someone 50 years ago, you’d call them, visit them, or even write them a letter via snail mail. Sending someone a typed message in seconds would be considered a wild and futuristic idea that, in the modern era, we use every day.
Reduction in Space Travel
There was a time, even earlier than 50 years ago, that the race to explore space was in full force. Even the moon landing was a race to see which country would get there first.
That’s why someone 50 years ago would be surprised to see how much this race has slowed down. While we’re still reading every day about new things we’ve learned about life beyond planet Earth, we aren’t competitively spending our days hoping to be the next person on new territory.
The Concept of AirBnB
Staying in a hotel is nothing new. The concept has been around for centuries, allowing weary travelers to rest their heads. As all ideas do, though, this one has evolved heavily.
Services like AirBnB have turned this concept into a slightly more modern idea. Whereas a hotel is made for transience, someone 50 years ago might be momentarily shocked if you told them you were going to pay to stay a weekend in someone’s private residence while they weren’t there.
Cards Over Cash
Once upon a time, the most common form of payment was cash. Yet, in the last bit of time, this has fallen out of style as our primary transaction medium.
Seeing so many people head out for a meal or shopping without a bit of physical money on them would flabbergast someone five decades ago — not to mention, they’d be even further confused by concepts such as virtual wallets like Venmo or Apple Pay, and online purchases and transactions.
Who We’re Friends With
50 years ago, you may not have known anyone on the other side of the world. That makes sense, too. After all, how would you have ever met any of them?
Today, you don’t have to ever physically meet them to get to know them well and even spend time with them. With many of the advances in communication that we have and will look at in this list, it’s not surprising from a modern perspective that people make friends with global strangers.
FaceTime and Zoom
It’s no surprise that over time, the ways that humans communicate change at a rapid pace. This means that there are parts of communication that dwarf the capabilities of previous generations.
There are certain concepts that would have surprised someone from 50 years ago enough such as texting. What would be even more interesting and surprising would be the use of mediums such as FaceTime and Zoom. Live video calls to loved ones and colleagues are quite a change from that time period.
You’ve had the opportunity to order something for a long time — even before online shopping, catalogs, and magazines offered purchases sent straight to your home.
That being said, that didn’t mean that these shipments were fast. Like most physical mail, it took a while to get what you wanted. If someone 50 years ago learned that we could order something and have it at our door, ready to use in only a day or two, they probably wouldn’t believe you.
Even as recently as in the last two decades, we’ve seen technology try to make itself as small and convenient as possible. In decades past, technology wasn’t advanced enough for everything to be so compact.
If anyone from 50 years ago walked into a living room or public establishment with a flat-screen TV would serve as a huge surprise — not to mention, even cable services today make the channel selection in decades past look measly at best.
The Popularity of Coffee Shops
Coffee shops really came into popularity in the mainstream during the 1990s. Yet, today, you probably visit one frequently — if not every day.
In addition to that, you’d probably surprise someone from 50 years ago if you showed them the Starbucks menu. Not only do you have options when it comes to standard coffee drinks, but there are also plenty of fancier, more complicated drinks that you can grab in minutes for no more than a few dollars.
Professional Messaging Platforms
If you worked in an office decades ago and many people were working on the same project or trying to communicate, it could get messy. Even with the invention of email, tangled chains were confusing.
With the release of platforms such as Slack, it’s now much easier to reach other members in a company or organization. You can break conversations down into a succinct main channel or privately and many companies have adopted this, making our everyday lives much less stressful.
Getting Music Online
The way that we’ve consumed art has changed, too. This is especially true when it comes to auditory mediums such as music.
Whereas once you would only see music live, it eventually transitioned to recordings such as those on vinyl records and cassette tapes. Yet, you’d surely confuse someone 50 years ago if you explained a concept like iTunes or Spotify. Even more outdated forms of music downloads like Limewire would create more questions than answers.
Photographing Your Food
Before everything went digital, photography was a little different. Rather than just snapping a picture, you had to worry about details like having enough film.
That’s why the trend of photographing your lunch or brunch to fill your Instagram feed would have been wild 50 years ago. After all, with photography where it was at the time, it would have been a waste of film just to snap a picture of a tasty sandwich or the smoothie bowl you just ordered.
There are fads and popular options for entertainment in every generation and every decade. Some of these choices would leave previous eras scratching their heads and wondering why.
Lately, the most surprising option came out of escape rooms. As a concept, these sound fairly terrifying. After all, you’re locking yourself in a room and trying to find a way out but they’re actually a lot of fun and really test the limits of your problem-solving skills.
Use Wireless Headphones
While they were met with a bit of controversy when they were first released, many people now own Airpods or an equivalent wireless earbud.
This is something that would have seemed unbelievable to someone 50 years ago. While headphones were invented in 1910, they were rather bulky and stayed that way for a long time. On top of that, they were wired to whatever device you were listening to. Earbuds that aren’t only wirelessly connected but fit in your ear rather than over your head are absolutely novel.
Not Owning a Phonebook
For most households 50 years ago, a phonebook was a staple. Whether it was a private number or a business, it was a go-to tool to help you out.
On the other hand, today it would be odd to see someone with a phonebook in their house. For one, landlines are nearly non-existent, changing the nature of private phone numbers. Secondly, if you want to call a business now, it’s much more common to just search the number or website online.
Private and Comercial Drone Use
The use of drones was once particularly associated with the government — particularly the military. That isn’t quite the case anymore.
Now, drones are nifty devices used for many different purposes. They’ve been adopted by companies for the deliveries many of us get every day and even incorporated into practices such as photography and cinematography. Not to mention, many people use drones recreationally the way RC cars used to be popular as a novel toy or even passion project.
Smart Home Devices
If you asked someone 50 years ago what was a futuristic concept, you might get a science fiction answer like a house catering to your needs.
We’re actually pretty close to this concept, too! From devices like Google Home and Alexa, you can ask for just about anything. Plus, with the expansion of the Internet of Things, you can create your grocery list with the help of a smart fridge or program your thermostat to change on cue.
Playing Video Games
While it’s true that video games existed 50 years ago, no one could have guessed what they’d turn into today. After all, there was once a time when Atari was the cutting edge brand in the industry.
Today’s high-quality video games with cutting edge graphics would blow the minds of someone 50 years ago. Especially some of the technology surrounding it such as motion controls and successful virtual and augmented reality systems — not to mention, the culture of online gaming and e-sports.
Widespread Vegetarian and Vegan Options
It’s been more recently than in the last 50 years that if someone wanted to cut animal products out of their diet, they were out of luck unless they wanted to work really hard at it.
In today’s world, though, vegetarians and vegans have plenty of options beyond just tofu. With the advent of options such as Impossible and Beyond meat substitutes, there are choices everywhere. There are even options on restaurant menus and eateries dedicated to catering to these diets.
Standing Out With Hashtags
When you post something on social media today, you often use hashtags to help the post stand out and make it easily searchable.
Without an idea of the concept of social media, this wouldn’t make much sense 50 years ago. In fact, if you even showed someone a hashtag as recently as the 1990s or the early 2000s, they’d probably wonder why you were calling a pound sign a hashtag. It’s interesting to see how things change meaning over time.
Widespread Food Delivery
Food delivery was once a very limited set of options. Sure — you could get a pizza sent straight to your door but there were plenty of meals you’d have to sit in the dining room to enjoy.
Now, we have plenty of food delivery services such as Postmates, UberEats, and more to bring you anything you might want. This was particularly revolutionary because it allowed restaurant owners to offer delivery services without having to worry about hiring an in-house delivery team.
In today’s day and age, binge-watching is a common term considering that we all do it. And if you say that you don’t, well then, you’re lying.
When you rely on cable, you often watch your favorite shows on a schedule. Plus, without the recent recording tools, you would likely watch them right as they came on. Today, this isn’t quite the case. Instead, binge-watching shows from beginning to end without a structured schedule has become business as usual.
This isn’t something that everyone does every single day but it’s definitely an option that’s growing more popular — especially as they become more efficient and accessible.
If you told someone 50 years ago that there would be cars one day that didn’t run on gasoline, they’d probably tell you that was a futuristic dream. As it turns out, it actually was an idea that was destined for future production! These cars, which run on electricity, are used fairly frequently in today’s culture.
The Cost of Living
Another thing that we do every day is to pay for things. Whether you’re filling up your gas tank or grabbing something quick for lunch, money is always something to worry about.
If there’s one thing that would blow the socks off of someone from 50 years ago is to see how expensive things are now. Of course, it’s all a part of economics but if you put someone from that era in a store today, they’d probably be more than a little shocked.
Unlocking Your Phone
While phones were definitely around 50 years ago, they weren’t locked and unlocked the same way our cellphones today are. This is mainly because they didn’t have the same level of sensitive information.
How we unlock our phones could also prove a little jarring to someone 50 years ago. Not only do we have the option of inputting a password but there are phones that can unlock from patterned swiping and even by scanning your face. How nuts is that?!
There was far more personal anonymity 50 years ago than there is today. This is largely due to the fact that nearly everyone uses social media now.
It’s not only that we use social media for private matters either. On top of that, many people have their social media tied into their professional lives as well. It’s a lot to balance and it would likely concern someone 50 years ago that we don’t worry as much about personal privacy.
Meal Kit Subscriptions
When you wanted a home-cooked meal 50 years ago, you had to find a recipe yourself, go to the store to gather the ingredients, and then put it all together.
This all changed when meal kit subscription services such as Blue Apron came onto the market. With these services, you only need to sign up, pay a monthly fee, and you’ll have recipes and all the ingredients delivered directly to your door. There’s not much need for you to do a lot of prep work.
Even if you aren’t an influencer yourself, you probably see plenty every day peddling their latest brand deal or sharing what they’re doing.
While the idea of celebrity marketing has been around for ages, the concept of someone who isn’t a celebrity in a traditional sense filling this role is rather new. In general, the idea of getting famous based purely off of popularity rather than a distinct skill set is a wild one that would have been foreign 50 years ago.
Today, if there’s a show or movie you want to watch, you probably opt for your favorite streaming service. This could be anything from Hulu to Netflix or even HBO or Amazon Prime.
However, 50 years ago, this would have been completely unbelievable. In fact, you could probably blow the minds of someone 50 years ago by showing them a DVD rather than a VHS tape as well. Either way, you’d probably introduce them to something they never thought possible.
If there’s something that sums up internet culture in a general term, it’s the existence of memes. While humans have always been humorous, memes come specifically from widespread internet access.
And there are some truly bizarre memes out there that work as examples of how humor can change between generations. Even in the last ten years, we’ve seen memes go from white text and pictures to images that would seem like utter nonsense to someone 50 years ago.
For a long time, everyone dated the “old fashioned” way. You’d meet someone in person — or even go on a blind date that was set up by family or friends — and maybe you would hit it off.
A dating app would probably seem like a strange concept to people 50 years ago. Yet, today, it isn’t uncommon for a couple to meet through one of these tools. On top of that, there are so many options ranging from Tinder to Bumble and more. It would definitely result in some mixed emotions.
Using Your Phone as an Alarm
Many of us don’t rely on an independent alarm clock to make sure we get up for work or make sure we make it to that appointment.
Now, we often rely on the alarm clocks built into our phones to wake us up and give us reminders. This is another example of a problem that once took its own piece of technology but has now been centralized into what your smartphone can do — a feat not many would have believed 50 years ago.
Using a Swiffer
Many of us probably fail to do this every day but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t something we do fairly often to keep our hard floors clean.
In decades past, the only option when it came to cleaning your floors was to use a traditional mop with a bucket of water and cleaning solution. In 1999, Swiffer introduced their more efficient mop that doesn’t require as much manual labor or additional supplies to keep your home nice and tidy.
There’s no denying that wellness and beauty products existed 50 years ago. Still, in today’s world, it’s all about the variety. There are so many different types of brands, including organic ones, that make all types of products depending on what you’re looking for.
With that being said, we have no doubt that someone from 50 years ago would be utterly overwhelmed to see the amount of brands and number of products that actually exist nowadays.
Rely on Autocorrect
Spelling and grammar are some of the hardest parts of writing. That’s why 50 years ago, it was handy to keep a dictionary around.
In the modern era, you can rely on tools such as autocorrect to catch all your spelling mistakes. Even if you end up getting really stuck on a word, you can look it up online. There’s no need to hunt down a physical dictionary to find out what you’re trying to say. The same is true for a physical thesaurus!
If you wanted to learn something 50 years ago, you needed to go the traditional route. You could either read up on it or take an in-person class.
In recent years, it’s become more and more common for people to rely on online classes and even YouTube tutorials to learn what they wanted to know from the comfort of their own home. In fact, people 50 years ago would have probably been surprised to see people earning their degrees on a laptop.
There’s something very convenient about being able to read on your phone or tablet even though there are plenty of people who prefer a physical book instead.
If you asked someone 50 years ago what they preferred, however, they probably would have thought you were joking with them. Alternatively, they may have thought you meant microfilm at the library rather than reading the latest best selling novel on your tablet with ease.
Taking Rides From Strangers
Most people alive today in the younger generation may even still remember their parents telling them to never get in the car with a stranger. 50 years ago, this advice was basic knowledge.
That’s why it would be so interesting to see the reaction of someone from decades past as they are first introduced to rideshare services. While there are some similarities to catching a cab, this more free-for-all method might cause more than a little concern as an alien concept.
Using a GPS
If you aren’t sure where you’re going today, you probably just plug the address into a GPS. In recent years, this is a GPS that’s also built into your phone.
Back in the day, though, this wasn’t the case. Even older options such as MapQuest would have seemed strange back in the 1980s. Then, you probably would have been more apt to pull out a physical map and do a little sleuthing of your own to find out which way to go.
There was a time that wearable technology was pretty much limited to watches and medical devices. Now, they do so much more.
Even the existence of a device such as a FitBit would make no sense to someone transported from 50 years ago. In addition, many of these devices incorporate other aspects of technology that we’ve considered already such as the ability to text or store personal data in a centralized, digital location rather than on paper.
This is truly the pinnacle of what someone 50 years ago would have in their sci-fi fantasy of this era, it’s a self-driving car or even a car that flies.
While flying cars are still a distant thought, we do have cars that drive themselves! With little to no input from the rider, these vehicles do all the work for you. You might also confuse someone from 50 years ago if you tried to explain the ethical discussions that went into these innovations.