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Buket Ozdemir

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I talk about what I really feel and what I really think. I feel I am alive and that automatically makes me feel powerful and attractive at the same time.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I do notice a lot of women on the street but mostly the ones with a lot of make-up on and with a fancy outfit. I just try to understand how it would feel to be one of them, since I barely put on any make-up and I wear jeans and t-shirts all the time. I somehow feel not feminine enough. I don't really care most of the time but other people do and that makes me forced to care, in a sense.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I love it when I see a women with no make-up on, messy hair, messy outfit and still confident, doesn't care all the stares she gets and just does whatever she needs to do. It is so inspiring to see someone on the street that I mostly stare at those women but put on a smile and try to make eye contact so that I can let them know that I appreciate who they really are, not their look or body only.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

Nope. My fashion instructor is my laziness and the God of cheapness.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

Buying thinking of a combine or a possible place to wear the outfit to. Everything looks good, but hey, your space and money are both limited, use them wisely!

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I do everything when there is something that needs to be done. If you over-plan, over-think or over-do something, in an attempt to be ahead of everyone else and be there to rescue them, you will not have a single second for yourself. Thinking of putting some time for yourself instead of being always perfectly ready for others might sound a bit selfish to you, but you know what? A happy person is the most helpful person. People do not need robots making everything perfect. People need you, your presence. And you cannot possibly be present all the time if you live inside your head trying to perfect everything. This is my unified approach: I am myself before I am anything else.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

High heels. I just don't understand the reason behind this whole pain. I am always the dwarf of events.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

My mother is wearing a headscarf and I am not wearing one. This is the part where her style has not passed down to me. My mother is wearing a headscarf and wearing a headscarf means you also have to be careful about not to wear too tight or too sexy. She covers all of her body, except for her face, her hands and her feet. Well, I don't do that, but I try not to wear anything too tight or too sexy. I am pretty young but my closet is not really different from an old lady's closet. I like it, though. I am pretty comfortable.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

I try not to dress in a fancy attire and not to put on make-up. I believe I don't have to spend so much time and effort to look good for a total stranger outside. I do that on purpose and will keep doing the same thing. I do dress up sometimes but mostly not spending much time or thought or money on it. It is just a dress with good-looking shoes, nothing else.

18. Please describe your emotions.

I am pissed off. Why do I have to be perfect all the time? Even when I was a kid, I was always silent because I thought that was the right thing to do: A girl should behave herself and try not to make any trouble to anyone. Why? Is my existence, my face without make-up, my efforts to better my life seem like trouble to the rest of the world? Can't I want not to be a housewife, a mother or a good daughter? Can't I just be myself?

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

Pajamas. No bra. No make-up. Messy hair. I am at my room after a very long day.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

Every girl tries so hard to look good. I am sick of it. I don't want to look good. I don't want to look for the perfect lipstick for my lips. I don't want to find the best hair style for me. I just don't. I want to look the way I am and I want to be accepted as the way I am. Even my ex-boyfriend used to call me lazy for not trying to look good and tell me that actually I am very pretty but I do nothing to show it, which is why I look like a junkie or a homeless. I kept telling him and everyone else that I just don't want to look good. Can't the whole world accept a few marginals who don't really care the way they look as long as they are clean enough to go out?

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

1989. Born in Turkey, Karadeniz Eregli, living in Shanghai, China now.

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

I am in-between being a modern young women and an Islamist. Islamist parents and parenting combined with a questioning mind. Middle-class parents but too proud to not get much money from parents, so mostly living on scholarships or trying not to spend any money at all.

What kind of work do you do?

Student. Researcher. Freelance translator. Anything that gets me some money.

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?

Single. Never married. Actually, only had one boyfriend so far. An ex-boyfriend.

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

I am the nerd, the freak, the weirdo of all the Hollywood movies I have seen on TV when I was a kid. Societal norms made me think that I was different from the rest and should find a way to fit in. After some painful and confused years spent in satisfying that mass of people we call society that controls our minds, got a break-up and this made my eyes wide open so that I started not caring anymore. Decided that I would be myself even though I would look like a crazy youngster or a junkie. Decided that I would avoid working since I believe working is pointless as long as you have money enough to pay for your rent and bills. Got a full-scholarship in exchange for living in China and learning Chinese, which I am doing right now. My eyes have been wide open since my break-up and I say "whatever" to anything that I am supposed to be doing right now and do what I really want to do instead.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

I feel like I have just written to my diary in English, in a very unorganized way. Sorry for that.

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