Turkish Tuesdays and Dominant culture vs. your health

Here is where cultural change, as well as comprehensive health care for all, would help in regards to the pressure we face to conform, partly shown in minute 9:31 of  episode 20 of my favorite family TV show, Sihirli Annem:

Her anne gibi…”

(“Like every mother…”)

When I taught English in Izmir, not a day went by without my Turkish co-workers (and perhaps even my British colleague) spending several minutes harranguing me about the need to wear make-up, in their professional opinions. I refused, but I paid a price, in lower esteem and in difficulty relating to others. A scene in which little Cilek wants to dye her hair is a telling one. Her older sister comments that their mother dyes her hair, as all mothers do. But how much of this cosmetic change that we make to ourselves is because we want to, vs. because society expects us to do so? And who benefits?

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
September 2, 12016 HE



Action Items in support of cultural change and empathy that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “empathy” into Turkish.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you imagine that learning a new language could help build empathy, and maybe even help us tolerate our differences better,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The ProtectorLupin, or La Casa De Papel/Money Heist Reviews,

Holistic High School Lessons,

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BsCs

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



22 thoughts on “Turkish Tuesdays and Dominant culture vs. your health

  1. I think part of the difference in doing what we want vs. doing what’s expected is being able to be selective. I used to like wearing eye makeup, and felt like it made me look more alert. I didn’t like face makeup, though, so I never wore foundation/powder/etc. That helped me feel more in control of my own choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think one thing people forget about skincare/cosmetics/hair dye etc. is that they give the user some control over her (usually, though plenty of men use these products too) outward appearance. You can argue that people should be so evolved that they don’t care about external pressures, but also, some people would rather your first impression be, “wow, look at her cool pink hair or awesome eye makeup”, and not “wow, look at her hyperpigmentation/ rosacea/ raging acne breakout”. There’s also nothing wrong with going out with hyperpigmentation/ rosacea/ acne (Personally, I feel like in lockdown, I can barely work up the motivation to pick up a hairbrush, let alone stick to a skincare routine for my acne and wrinkles or put on makeup). But there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to use beauty products.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh: I hadn’t thought of skin ailments. Very good points.
      I’m not criticising wanting to use such products, as long as they are not part of societal pressure. But I have always been pressured to use makeup, despite not having any reason like the above. Even to the point of being given an unwanted makeover once (on my exchange to Israel), by a dozen other girls, and the constant anger from other women who tell me I should have to wear makeup like they do, or telling me that I must disdain makeup because I ‘got that good hair,’ and don’t have to spend the time they do on beauty products. All of this has long made me keep cutting my hair, refuse to wear makeup and heels, and point out that it is unfair to be treated with disdain for my lack of interest in beauty products. Being told reproachfully that I”‘d be dropdead gorgeous in makeup” is not a compliment, but a scolding that keeps up the pressure to conform to products made, in general, more for profit than for benefit.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Interesting and unfortunate that you’ve experienced so much pressure. Maybe this is region/culture specific? I once worked for a very trendy, female-dominated (women definitely notice presence/lack of makeup more than men do, I’m convinced) fashion-forward company – literally, the dress code read something like “business casual or a fashion-forward outfit. If you don’t know what fashion-forward is, you can’t wear it.” – and yet no one there ever cared if I came to work without makeup and hastily applied it at my desk or if I never bothered to put it on at all. And I’m not good-looking; there’s a considerable difference between me with makeup and me without makeup. I’ll never know if I paid a price professionally for not wearing a full face of makeup everyday. There were other factors that affected how far I could grow professionally at that company and led to me choosing to move on.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hmm, well, I’ve never worked in a fashion environment, but it seems that everywhere I go I’ve always been dogged by these issues. I grew up moving around alot, by middle school always in the DC area, and maybe capital cities are worse, as they attract the most ambitious people, but the pressure was always tremendous. Especially in my 20s and 30s. I’ve always hated being told “to own” my beauty and that I was selfish for refusing to have kids. This society both values and hates beautiful women in a way that is perverse. We put far too much emphasis on beauty rather than character and deeds, so that the works of our hands seem to be forgotten in the gates of the city. 😦

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I’ve heard that about working in DC in particular. I don’t receive the comments about beauty myself. Re: not having children, I don’t receive selfishness comments; people just give me that look like I’m defective. That only happened recently. People used to say “well you’re young so you’ve got time” but I think I must not look so young anymore. Society can really suck sometimes.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Come to think of it, others have told me that DC families are also especially toxic in interesting ways, so maybe it is the Capital City effect on work, as well. Not to mention that the Beltway Bandits are all toxic (wish I’d known that before college…). Even at the age of 44, I was still being urged to have kids! Since I look much younger than I am, even now I still get pressure from men. So I keep looking for ways to help make society suck a little less, but I’m starting to run out of ideas on that one.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Thank you! Very much! I just hope that I can find/inspire enough people to pick up the banner and keep moving forward with this set of ideas, or a compatible program that will help society suck less! 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

            3. I was also considering ways to explicitly include #MeToo and #BLM (aka The Movement for Black Lives) as part of The Four Freedoms Movement, as well as coming up with a catchier name for it…

              Liked by 2 people

            4. Still looking for ideas on increasing uptake on Project Do Better: I need to find more hands to help with this project before I completely burn out. Would you mind reblogging/sharing something about the project, or one of the Do Better posts (maybe the 5th draft post, or the Call for Helping Hands post), please?

              Liked by 2 people

          2. Also, the “selfish for not wanting kids” idea always struck me as bizarre in general. Do people really think there are no selfish reasons for wanting kids, or that there are no selfish parents out there? In your case specifically, this seems like an even stranger comment specifically because from what I have read, you strike me as a particularly not selfish person.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Men, especially, like to tell me that “it’s a waste” or that I’d have such beautiful children, as if that justifies having kids: no, I think most folks don’t realize the number of children who die at the hands of their own parents every year, or the even higher numbers of parents who push their kids out onto the streets, or abuse, neglect, or even use their children. Especially a very beautiful woman like my mother, I think has a hard time not falling for the pressures to have kids, and when a girl comes from an abusive home, she typically wants a baby, for her own selfish needs, quite desperately until that baby starts to show that it has needs independent of the mother.
              Thank you for the compliment, by the way, on not being selfish: I’m not so sure that I am not also quite selfish, simply in a different way, as I try to justify my own existence in the face of so many people who’ve told me that I shouldn’t exist for various reasons. I try very hard to be what I’d like to see in this world, and to make up for the sins of my own parents. I’ve got such good role models of what not to do in life that I merely look at my bio units and do pretty much the opposite of what they did in life! LOL! 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

            2. You seem to have met an unfortunate number of people with bizarrely strong opinions on things that do not affect them (your physical appearance and family plans). I am always suspicious of people like that.
              I’m sorry re: your mom and the subsequent impact on you. You should exist and the world is a better place because you exist. You don’t need to justify anything.
              We’re all selfish in a sense when it comes to our own wants.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts and your kind words. People have always zeroed in on me for my outward appearance, and then been rebuffed eventually because no matter how polite and congenial or compliant I am, sooner or later I get fed up with being stepped on (and unfortunately, I had to learn the meaning of the phrase Alpha Male very early on, because they always come after me, even now, and I’m 51.7 years old, for god’s sake!!), and I’ve had to learn how to turn them away without pissing them off. Black men are pretty easy to deal with, but white men, I find, are not at all easy to deal with, even those in their late 20s! I’ve had to pull out my ID to prove my age, even back in 2018, to a 28 year old who would not accept that I was not and never would be interested in him, and that he should also be ashamed of himself for insistantly hitting on a woman old enough to be his mother! These guys are, for some reason, entitled, seeming to feel that I should be honored to be the object of their affections. Sorry for the rant. I keep hoping to grow more gray hairs (I guess the combination of Black and Cherokee blood is one that takes forever to go grey), as I look forward to finally starting to look my age and hope that that will mean less attention from predators. I’ve been told that I am too polite and “overly-compliant” by several people: a product of being raised as a good southern girl, despite being rejected a-priory by The South.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Boy – I just get aggressive men and women too, actually, in the recent pre-COVID times, groping at my boobs (admittedly my best physical feature, but still). Most people are fine but some people just have utterly no sense of boundaries.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Yup, and when you are petite and soft-spoken (a therapist told me to learn to speak louder…), boundaries are harder to set. One of the reasons I always carried a pocket knife, and had a sword collection for a while. Actually came in handy more than once.


            6. Ok, so, having pondered my non-fiction WiP, on the 4 phases of getting from here to a society that might resemble FDR’s 4 Freedom’s speech, what do you think of this working title?

              “Baby acres: How to make society suck less in 60 years.”

              -Shira (with a bit of help from a friend, Tammy, from High School Jr. ROTC…)

              Liked by 2 people

            7. The title is catchy! I’m not familiar with the reference to FDR’s 4 Freedom Speech. Is it meant to be an allusion to FDR’s?
              Unrelated, but I noticed the updated blog title and I think it is a good choice. “Critical Thinking for Human Continuity” is more broad and a better description of your work, I think.

              Liked by 2 people

            8. Thank you! Tammy suggested “Baby Acres!” 🙂
              The 4 F’s speech (https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=70) is an address that FDR gave to Congress in 1941, near the start of our involvement in WWII, I believe, as he tried to bolster reasons for our helping the allies (I’m pretty sure this was before Dec. 7th).
              Thank you!
              I’ve been pondering a better blog title and tagline. I’m always open to new suggestions!

              Liked by 2 people

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