I’m not even going to lie, I’m a sucker for an old wives tale… don’t open up an umbrella indoors as it’ll give you bad luck, if you smash a mirror you’ll get 7 years bad luck (I’ve actually smashed two mirrors in my lifetime so far and I’m perfectly okay – yet now that I think about it maybe the curse of the smashed mirror is why I keep losing out on the lottery??). But anyway, what I’m trying to say is that old wives tales are a lot more trusted than maybe they should be, I mean really, how is walking underneath a ladder going to give you bad luck? Where are the logistics in that?
The old wives tales that interest me most are the beauty ones that make literally no sense at all, and yet everyone follows them like they are life or death! However, the vast majority of old wives’ tales (the ones that your parents and teachers may have drilled into your mind e.g. “if the wind changes you’ll be stuck like that”) are all absolute rubbish.
Chocolate Causes Acne
This one is a bit of a controversial one, as whilst I can easily say after eating one (or a few) too many chocolate digestives a few days in a row, my skin sometimes feels a little gross and I might suffer from a few breakouts however, there has never actually been any conclusive proof that chocolate causes acne – though some research has suggested that diets that lean heavily on foods with a lot of fat and sugar can lead to skin inflammation, which can make you more vulnerable to skin problems. But there is no direct relationship between having a chocolate bar today and getting a spot tomorrow.
Pull Out a Grey Hair, and Three Will go in its Place
Okay, so I don’t know this much from experience (luckily I haven’t quite reached the age in which grey hairs start appearing) yet everyone’s heard the old wives’ tale that pulling out your grey hair will lead to three more growing in its place. Nevertheless, cosmetic scientist Randy Schueller got rid of a few beauty myths as he explained; “There’s no harm in plucking a grey hair, but it also doesn’t do you much good.” Even though three new grey hairs don’t grow back in the pulled hairs’ place, removing it won’t stop the problem from reoccurring. The beauty expert said: “The follicle (the little tube beneath the skin that produces the hair) is still alive and will produce another hair to replace the one that was pulled out.” But in conclusion, no, 3 hairs will not grow in its place!
An Apple a Day keeps the Doctors away
Every. single. one. of us have heard the saying, but how truthful is this saying? Apples are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and they can of course help you to maintain a healthy weight; but if I’m honest, that’s about it. They’re no better or worse than any other fruit or vegetable! Obviously, if you’re swapping fatty, sugary snacks for an apple, you’re making a choice which will improve your diet and overall health, but this doesn’t mean there’s no need to see a doctor regularly for blood pressure checks and overall health check-ups!
Snacking after 8pm causes weight gain
We all know it’s not a fabulous idea to snack in the evenings, but it’s more about the types of food you eat rather than the time you eat them at. When we’re tired, or when it’s late at night, we are more likely to make poor food choices and crave sweet and sugary foods. So, the 8pm myth is just that, a myth. The only thing that you should be wary about when eating later is to not eat too close to bed-time; if your body is still digesting food, you could find it hard to get a good night’s sleep!
Any old wives tales you’ve been unknowingly following? I know I have been!
Words by Maija Lily
The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.