Post the classic "what's your favourite pizza topping" ice breaker (where "pineapple" caused reactions akin to marmite), it soon became obvious that taboos are all relative. Whether it’s the period of time or cultural vantage point through which the taboo in question is considered, what’s taboo to one person isn’t to another.
Taboo examples, and peoples differing perspectives, were vast. Take living with parents past mid-twenties for example, while one New York guest shared this as potential taboo material, another said this was the norm in his home town in India. Next, take marriage and successful careers. A particular Salon guest, born in Chile, raised in Brazil, shared how her single status was met with ‘we’re praying for you’ from Chilean relatives while being ‘just a mum’, has its own challenges in Brazil.
When it came to ideas on future taboo changes, perhaps in the next few decades attitudes to living arrangements could change? Rather than the standard 2.5 children and spouse, perhaps we live with friends. Could we have families in less conventional ways? Cue the idea of surrogates. Perhaps people will start taking hygiene more seriously, or the feeling of failure if you're not a successful CEO pre-thirty could cease to exist?
As we took in all these ideas, we couldn't help but see the existence of taboos being the result of expectations and judgement. While in an ideal world they wouldn’t exist, in the interim we should continue to challenge them anyway.