[Dietland 1×03] Oh God, THE SHAME.

Every week our fake advice column answers a question from a character on Dietland.

Dear Adversion,

YOU HAVE TO HELP ME.

OK, so I took your advice from last week. I threw out all my meds, and I went back to this woman Verena Baptist and told her I was in for whatever her super secret happiness plan was. And she told me that her plan was all about being kind to myself, and wrote me the promised check for twenty grand ahead of time! So far, so good, right?

Well, what I did not do was heed Verena’s advice to taper my meds slowly and under the care of a doctor. Verena told me that this wasn’t safe, but as I said to myself, “She’s never been in my extra-wide shoes.”

So… I just went cold turkey. And like, I knew it might be bad, but I didn’t realize it was going to just involve me hallucinating the shit out of everything and torpedoing my life in incredibly embarrassing ways! After the first night, I woke up with a face rash because I had been making out with a tiger all night, and found a pile of food outside my door that the tiger had made me order before we started making out.

But it’s not just that. I wrote super inappropriate advice to all the girls who wrote Dear Kitty letters. I called Dominic, the cute cop who Steven insists is attracted to me, and put his hand on my tummy and asked him if he wanted to get lost in my sensuous skin! And I wrote a completely bonkers review of this plus-size fashion line that was supposed to be my first byline for Daisy Chain and sent it to my mean boss Kitty with the subject line “MY MASTERPIECE!!!!”

Steven had been super worried about me the whole time, and in the end he called my mom too, and they both busted in on me. I told them to stop treating me like a child, and I think they get it, but… after this they might be the only two people in the world who still respect me. I can’t believe all the stuff I did. Holy shit! What do I do? Just hide forever in shame?

Love,
Plum


Dear Plum,

Don’t panic.

Who among us has not woken up after a night that they don’t quite remember and found some stupid emails or texts in their outbox? Let that person throw the first stone — I certainly can’t.

There are some things that it might help you to know. For example, you don’t actually have a face rash, because you weren’t actually making out with a tiger. I’m not sure if you’ve figured that out yet, but I hope it comforts you to hear that your facial skin still looks as radiant as ever! And that it’s OK that you messed up your big assignment because, unfortunately, Kitty only gave it to you to distract you from the fact that she suspects you of hacking Austen Media. OK, maybe that’s not such great news.

In my opinion, society wants you to feel ashamed because it wants you to look a certain way and act a certain way. It wants to control you, because your shame over your body is what helps the beauty industry make so much money off of us! “There’s no winnin’ for the ladies,” as your imaginary boyfriend Benny the tiger says. But in reality, there is nothing wrong with you! You think your mom is only saying that because she loves you, but it’s true. You’re awesome. It just sucks that the rest of the world has not figured this out yet.

And seriously, you should put this all in perspective. Sure. You did some embarrassing stuff. But you didn’t do anything evil. I mean, did you try to hold a Fashion Week event even though men were being literally murdered on the sidewalk outside, like Kitty? Or pay the legal fees for rapist photographers, also like Kitty? Or ask for drink refills by snapping your fingers at bartenders, also like Kitty? Did you rape young models and found revenge porn websites, like the men who are getting murdered? Did you kidnap men and make them read statements about how they deserve to die before dropping them off buildings, like Jennifer? Are you secretly pretending not to be married to get women to help you with your investigation, like… well, never mind who? (Yeah, it’s Dominic. Sorry, babe.)

Of course, one strange vicissitude of human nature is that shame over embarrassing things we’ve done is (for many of us) less tolerable and more painful than our shame over actually bad things we’ve done. So, you’re just gonna have to ride it out. Remember, part of your job under Verena’s plan is to be kinder to yourself. So just hang in there, and wait for the shame to subside before reading any more of your outbox.

And maybe ask a doctor before you change up your treatment regime next time. But you probably figured that out already.

Love,
Nerdy Spice

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