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Lies Your Mother Told You

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I'm sitting at an all-ladies dinner when the subject of underwear comes up, as it's been known to do. A heated debate ensues, and I learn that I am sitting among a group of women who may, or may not, wear underwear on a regular basis.

Now before you go thinking my besties are a bunch of underwear-haters, think again: Their mothers were. It appears that, at least in a few cases, their mothers waged a calculated campaign against that tiny little cloth that protects a lady and her parts from the elements.

Me, I'm an underwear fan, so was my mom. But I do remember my childhood best friend's mother always telling her not to wear underwear at night because, "The vagina needs to air out."

I wonder if this is true. So of course, I consult the most reliable source I know: Google. I learn that no, there is no medical evidence that a lady's parts need to breathe.

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So, why the anti-underwear campaign? And what other lies did our mothers tell us? As one of the last pre-Google generation, we were susceptible to old-mother's tales. Now that we know our lady parts don't need fresh air, what other misinformation did our mothers plant in our heads?

If You Look Directly At The Sun You'll Go Blind. OK, here's how you do go blind: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetes. Sure, there are other things that can ruin your vision, but looking at the sun is not one of them. Here's what does happen when you look at the sun—you can't see for like a second—because the sun is in your eyes. And worse yet, you have to walk around for the next 17 hours with that bright "I just looked at the sun" blotch over your eyes. So your mom was right, looking at the sun isn't a good idea. But it won't make you lose your vision.

So here's how you can get pregnant—by having sex.

You Can Get Pregnant From a Hot Tub. When I was 16, my good friend Stephie called me, frantic after having hot tub'd with her boyfriend Lance. She was sure she was preggo, having been told by countless friends (who sourced their mothers) that sperm swims faster in a hot tub. Well, unless the dude in question has Michael Phelps swimmers, they are not making it across the hot tub and swimming directly into your ovulating ovaries before the chlorine kills each and every one of them. So here's how you can get pregnant—by having sex. Now, sex in a hot tub, that's another question.

Scones Are Fat Free. This is a personal one for me because I spent years going to the gym to work off my scone-ass because my mom once told me scones are fat free. Fat-free scones are actually fat free. But, the others, the delicious ones? Yep, they're full of fat. Why else do they taste so good?

Don't Make a Funny Face or Your Face Will Stay That Way. They probably meant well, our mothers, when they saw us in a restaurant or in the back of the car making a funny face at a stranger and told us, "Don't do that or your face will stay that way." They meant well in a cautionary tale kind of way. Like, someone's going to see your funny face and beat the crap out of you way. But it's still a load. Short of getting Bell's Palsy, funny face it all you want!

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If You Go Outside with Wet Hair, You'll Catch A Cold. Most people believe you lose heat from your body through your head, thus making wet hair outside a bad idea. You actually lose heat equally throughout your body, making a wet head about as good or bad an idea as a wet arm (as if this is a global problem) or toe. Truthfully, most colds are viral and are transferred from one cold carrier to the next. So you want a guaranteed way to get a cold? Hang out with a toddler or spend seven seconds on an airplane. Going outside with wet hair might make you cold, but it won't give you one.

If You Swallow Gum, It'll Grow Inside Your Stomach. OK, so things that grow are either plants or people. Chewing gum is actually made of (get ready to spit) a form of latex. That means chewing gum is made of rubber. So while it might not feel so good to have a big wad of strawberry rubber in your tummy, it's not going to grow there anytime soon.

What lies did your mother tell you?

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