Having fully immearsed myself in Omani culture, learning what shoes I may wear to what places, what way to tie my scarf, what colours are okay, when to wear makeup and when not to, how loud my voice is allowed to be, where it is okay to go and who with, how to sit in the car, where to sit in a restaurant, indeed, even how one moves and gestures, I cannot even BEGIN TO STRESS, that the key to true happiness is knowing who one is, and being able to be one's self.
A pair of high heel shoes are not who I am. So even if I loved them, I could give them up. Some women, maybe not. I, love makeup, so I found ways to wear it, maybe still against the grain, but not offensively. In a marriage and in life, you have to know what points of yourself you are not willing to change or give up without losing yourself. I couldn't give up dressing like an individual. I can't give up completely how I move, which is kind of dance like. I have toned it down, believe me, apparently I used to skip and dance instead of walk. But if I happen to handle a lemon with flourish as I bag it in the Lulu? Since it isn't a sin, I am not willing to change it. I don't want to walk with my head down and slowly like a deadwoman, I just couldn't.
SOWHAT if some absolute retard thinks that I might like him cuz I happen to see the world around me as I walk instead of keeping my gaze locked in one direction 24 hrs a day. Sin is on him not moi so I say, again, am not gonna change it. My eyes were a gift from Allah, and so is this world He created, and He told all of men to wonder on His signs. Muslim women AND MEN are supposed to lower their gaze from what might tempt them, but not from life and what it holds.
Arab cultures and alot of Asian ones, the pressure to conform is so strong that individual thought is actually HARD to teach. Try teaching someone whose always told what the right answer is how to write an opinion essay. It's hard.
And in the West, the pressure to conform is still there, don't believe it isn't. If you believe something other than the norm, you must be "brainwashed" or "have an inferiority complex" or an "insecurity" ect.
I find it is best to learn what is important to one and don't compromise on it. That isn't selfish. It is honest. I have found that in Omani family life being one's own self is often considered selfish. Really, it's not. What is selfish is marrying someone you won't honor, respect, or cherish because it is what is expected of you. It is shameful behaviour towards the other person. It is selfish to suppress the soul of yourself and go through the motions of your day without anything making you feel alive, or important, or useful, or fullfilled. Living IS NOT a state of being.
To not reach your full potential, that is selfish, to your Creator (if you're religious), and to all of mankind.