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‘Dietland:’ Why The Women Of Calliope House Seriously Deserve More Screen Time

Some of the most important characters are often the ones that go unnoticed, and in this week’s episode of Dietland, “Belly of the Beast,” this proved to be true.

Although we’ve become acquainted with the women of Calliope House in passing, the only one we’ve really gotten to know is Verena. Calliope House has been covered in a shroud of secrecy and vagueness for both Plum and viewers, and it has remained a mystery all season. But in “Belly of the Beast” we got to catch a glimpse of both the house itself and the women inside of it, and it’s left us wanting more.

In this episode, we were told that the house is a collective for abused women, but not in the traditional sense. It’s clearly not your typical women’s shelter (there’s the questionable New Baptist Plan, the porn installation in the basement, and the cult-like cream-colored outfits the women wear), but the women definitely have stories that deserve to be shared. When one woman in particular shared her story with Plum, she revealed a lot about the nature of Calliope House, and it became obvious that the other women must have the same powerful stories to tell.

We had already met Sana earlier in the season (the one with the burn marks down her face), but we never learned anything about her. The extent of her interactions with Plum, and with the audience, were about the same as any of the other women—short and quiet. But this time, we learned Sana’s heart-wrenching story.

She told Plum that her mother wanted to leave her father so to punish her mother, Sana’s father threw acid on her. She says that Verena “helped [her] find the gift in what happened” to her, and along with the other women in the house, helped her to find the strength to overcome her trauma. Sana no longer sees what happened to her as a tragedy, but rather as a blessing. Now her scars allow her to see the true characters of other people in their reactions to her. When it comes to the ones that turn away, she says “they have to live with their ugliness. I don’t.”

But one serious question has been raised: what happened to the other women that gave them the desire and the ability to help someone like Sana?

What are their stories, and why aren’t they being shared?

Hopefully in the coming episodes, now that we know the truth about Calliope House (and it’s hope to change the world), we can begin to hear more about the other women.

Plum has been able to find her voice after completing the Baptist Plan, and hearing Sana’s story has motivated her to use her voice for change. Maybe we can meet more of the other inspiring women of Calliope House as they band together to fight the patriarchy (most likely along with Jennifer).

Makena is the Decor Section Editor, and former Style Section Editor and Editorial Intern at Her Campus. She is a senior at Marist College majoring in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Graphic Design. One day she hopes to put her writing skills to work at a magazine or women's publication.  Follow her on Instagram @makenagera and Twitter @makena_gera.
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