Every week our fake advice column answers a question from a character on Dietland.
So, I kind of made a deposit on my weight-loss surgery today.
As you know, Verena and her organization, Calliope House, had offered me all this money to go through some kind of awareness-raising program. I was going to use the money to get the surgery, but the program sucked! First, I went off my meds and did some pretty bonkers stuff. This week, it got even worse.
They had this B-list actress, Marlowe, who admittedly was a total kick to hang out with, take me on a mission to become bangable. I put up with the Botox, the hot wax, the makeup, everything. Even the bruises that showed up on my face after the Botox. Even the judgment from my mother. But then once I was so-called bangable, she wanted me to go on a date and actually BE BANGED. Ummm… no way. I want a boyfriend–but not as part of some weird social experiment. Not to mention, secretly I was pretty sure I still wasn’t bangable and I have no interest in finding out while under the scrutiny of a bunch of thin women who think they know what it’s like to be me.
Meanwhile, I went to the doctor and I got to visualize myself as a thin person, post-surgery. And it was awesome! I’d have scars, the doctor said, “but at least you’d be thin.” And I mean, he’s right. Verena said that she knows I’ve been manipulated and that she’s trying to be heal. But like I told her, “I don’t want to heal. I just want to lose weight.”
Oh, and also, I’m pretty sure that Calliope House is actually the parent organization of Jennifer, the group of feminist terrorists that’s been murdering men by literally dropping them from the sky. So like, Dominic wants me to be a hero and bust them, but in my opinion, hanging out with people who might be terrorists is not the best use of my time. I mean, come on. I don’t want to be the hero. I still want to be the hero’s girlfriend.
So now I’m committed. I’m getting this damn surgery. And I got the down payment since Verena gave me the check ahead of time (suckaaa). But the real question is, how do I figure out if Dominic likes me without going along with this so-called hero thing? Because like, I definitely still wanna hang with him—especially after he grabbed my hand at the cafe—but I am SO not going back to Calliope House.
Dear Plum—or may we call you Alicia, your real name?
Well, you could try any of the tried-and-true methods that women in heteronormative, patriarchal society have developed for expressing interest in men without seeming “aggressive.” You could accidentally run into him and then subtly make conversation about your lack of weekend plans. You could manufacture a crisis and call him and ask for help. Hell, you could try the Bend and Snap.
But, hey. Why go through all these maneuvers? They’re the maneuvers of people in a position of no power, people who aren’t supposed to just say what they want. But you’re living in Jennifer’s world now! Men are staying at home at night, terrified, while women are going for midnight jogs and buying the male equivalent of titty mags. So why not just call the guy and ask him out?
I mean, other than the fact that he’s just using you for his investigation and is in fact secretly married, of course.
Well, I know the real reason. Women who are fat are treated like they barely deserve the air they breathe, and like they don’t deserve the space they take up in the world. To admit to having an actual desire would just open you up for more shaming, right? You think people will look at you and sneer at you for thinking someone might actually like you. But like we keep saying, you are actually awesome. In fact, we think there’s at least some chance that Dominic is subconsciously attracted to you even while he thinks he’s using you for his investigation.
We’re also going to answer a question you haven’t asked us: we think you should go right the fuck ahead and get the surgery. It’s true that being fat doesn’t mean that you deserve punishment. But while the rest of the world hasn’t caught up to Verena and Calliope House in their body positivity movement, the fact is that you are suffering and it’s not your job to be the Shining Example of Self-Acceptance in the face of this much pain. It’s great if you can be, but you don’t have to be. And you’re totally right—Verena doesn’t know what it’s like to walk around in your body. So what right does she have to judge?
Me, I think you can be a hero no matter what medical procedures you do or don’t get. And maybe you can do it without, you know, killing anybody, unlike your pals at Calliope House, so… bonus points!