1. Sluglady

    Sluglady New Member

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    Scifi character that uses technology to make her thinner. Help.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Sluglady, Nov 13, 2017.

    I feel like any time I need help, it's a really sensitive subject. I'll try to keep this one short.

    Scifi story, sometimes pokes fun at old pulp fiction stories.

    In the story, I have a character that, according to some people I've talked to, sounds like she has aneating disorder. And I never thought about it that way until now, so I'm really worried about how to approach this.

    Betty (placeholder name) uses a mass displacer to LITERALLY move her body weight to a pocket dimension. She does this to fit in with a very shallow but very powerful galactic police force. And when I mean shallow, I mean, they care about 50% image, and 50% keeping the police and doing their freaking jobs. She appears thin, busty, super model looking woman. She's also one of the force's top agents and they're "poster girl".

    Times have changed and she badly wanted to reveal what her real body looks like but is more afraid of the backlash she will get for lying all this time. Especially since her image is so public.

    The story concludes with her revealing herself, and proving that she is still one of the most badass members of the force.

    Things to note:
    It is another woman that convinces her.
    Betty is NOT a main character until the second chapter. And after that, she goes back to being a side character.
    The mass displacer, if used too much, can harm the original body.

    Aaaaaand it was at that point that I was told it sounds like Betty has an eating disorder. Which never entered my mind once. When I first came up with this idea, I was picturing the mass displacer as some kind of sci-fi equivalent of a corset from the 1800s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corset_controversy

    I'm trying to research eating disorders but... I'll be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing

    HELP.
     
  2. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    It doesn't sound to me like an eating disorder, at least from what you've posted, but potentially she has body image issues. I guess my question is: does the character see her actions as solely pragmatic, or does she buy into the shallow worldview? Is her thought process "I have to do this in order to keep my job" or "I have to do this in order to be pretty/whatever"?

    If her concerns are solely pragmatic and she sees the whole mass displacer thing as a necessary evil, I don't think she necessarily has anything of her own to work through. She's just doing what she can to game the system. If anything, she might be distressed by her thin busty super model body and feel that it's not 'hers'. She might feel that the body she's cultivated belongs to the public (being the poster girl and all that) and want to take it back from them, but she's afraid of what it'll do to her career. That sounds like what you're describing, to me.

    I mean, she could still have some disordered thinking and have internalized some of the rhetoric of the police force - they're not mutually exclusive. Maybe consciously she thinks "yeah, that's ridiculous, I know better" but she's still a little recalcitrant to stop using the mass displacer and uses the backlash as an excuse to keep doing it. Still not really an eating disorder, though. I'm afraid those aren't really my specialty though so I'm kind of coming up blank on shit you could google to find out more that might be helpful ... Look up 'body dysmorphic disorder' maybe. That's sorta ED adjacent (granted you may come across references to trans people, as well).
     
  3. Sluglady

    Sluglady New Member

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    Body dysmorphic disorder! Thankyou! That actually fits really well.

    I guess when I think about it, her reasons are a combination of pragmatic and buying into the shallowness. Betty's had body issues for a while, but they get extremely worse after her admission was denied. Betty starts to despise the way she looks. She hates the displacer at first but then after using it for so long, it becomes normal for her. Even when standards become less shallow and bias.

    "Look pretty, save the day, and smile for the camera" "This this is how the world works and there's no going back". "If I'm caught in a lie, I'm ruined!" "They will think I'm disgusting!" "I can't disappoint my fans!"

    Basically, she has a hundred excuses in her head, but ultimately, she's just lying to herself.

    Thanks for the advice! This really helped!
     
  4. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

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    Unless she's changing her eating habits to make this work, it technically won't be an eating disorder. Just thought I'd make that clear :). But BDD sounds like it's more on the right tracks.
     
  5. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    Supermodels aren't busty.
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah. I was thinking that this science fiction machine might in fact be the only way to have a busty woman-who-is-otherwise-like-a-supermodel, assuming that it steals tissue from wherever the person wants it to.
     
  7. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I started to mention that the supermodel look is more entirely rail-thin, but it didn't seem particularly on topic. Kind of assumed the OP was thinking more pin-up model or some such.
     
  8. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Supermodels aren't, but there are a few women (men as well) whose bodies don't fit well within the expected proportions for their broader demographic. If you look up "gigantomastia" or "(virginal) breast hypertrophy," you'll find that there are women out there who have had their breasts go up multiple cup sizes in less than a week. I won't link to the Wikipedia article, but it contains some images of subjects identified as pre-teens who are definitely out of proportion, as well as some disturbing images of potential side effects.
     
  9. Sluglady

    Sluglady New Member

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    Your right, "supermodel" is the wrong word. "Scifi Pinup Girl" is more on point.
     

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