Controversial ‘Anna Rexia’ Halloween Costume Dubbed Offensive and Insensitive to Eating Disorders
Published: October 02, 2011
People have been dressing up in comedy fat-people costumes for years – ooo look at the funny obese person – ha ha ha ho ho ho, wobbly wobbly blah blah. Halloween costumes generally range from witches and ghosts to serial killers and people adorned with unfortunately fake hatchet wounds to the cortex. But all of a sudden, some priggish folk somewhere have got a bit uppity and deemed a Halloween costume entitled ‘Anna Rexia’ as tasteless and controversial.
A tasteless Halloween costume?! What next?
When it comes to celebrations, I’ve never thought of Halloween as a tasteful festival. It’s all about death, death and death, and death is only one of the side effects of anorexia, unlike being eaten by zombies or being cheese-wired by a ghoul, which both have pretty high mortality rates. A costume that [sort of] depicts the disease is certainly not glamorizing it.
Eating disorders are killers and victims of the disease should definitely not be mocked, but I’m not sure that is what is going on here. Sure, it’s in poor taste, but that is just so Halloween. Witches, fiends, murderers, murderer’s victims, arch villains, body dysmorphia sufferers – Halloween has always been a mixed bag.
People go to fancy dress parties as Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, George W Bush and Sarah Jessica-Parker. Just proving what an insipid and insensitive bunch of gits we are.
The costume itself is as trashy as they come – a revealing low-cut, tight-fitting, short black dress with a tape measure belt. It looks like a cheap slutty skeleton costume with a tape measure around the waist. Without the name ‘Anna Rexia’ it would be unlikely to be deemed controversial at all.
But the National Eating Disorders Association is ‘disgusted’ all the same, according to Jenn Harris of The Times.
“It’s disgusting [told you] that people have a costume about a potentially life-threatening illness,” said Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of the organization. ”It’s like a costume about people with malignant tumors. The designers of this costume should see an 8-year-old girl on a feeding tube.”
It’s not really the same is it?
“I’m just appalled because eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness,” concurred Trish Jones-Bendel at National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Adding: “Depending on the rates, and how long people have had the disorder, mortality can be from 10 to 15 percent. There are also high suicide rates with people that have anorexia. There’s not a system of the body that it does not impact.”
Obesity is a big killer too but people have been mocking fatties since humour began.
I understand that Grefe & co has the interests of anorexics everywhere at heart and want to protect them and they should be praised for the work they do, I’m an ex-anorexic myself, but if they really want to be genuinely horrified, then perhaps they should be focussing their gaze a little beyond Halloween at the entire media including the music, modelling, film, television, fashion and dance industries – where anorexia is not only encouraged but glorified.
There is something glorious about the gallows humour. Wearing a smile in the face of adversity and being able to laugh at yourself can help you through your darkest times.
I think this is more the case of a trashy costume named thoughtlessly. There are more important things to worry about. Grefe’s overreaction to this costume reminds me of the Guardia Civil (the police) in Spain who sit upon hills with binoculars waiting to catch the perpetrators of some of the most vicious criminals in Europe – dog owners walking their hairy progeny on beaches, whilst all around them petty crime and vehicle theft is rife. Perhaps Grefe should be lobbying the media to be a little bit more responsible with the images that they are feeding diminutive females, rather than concentrating on this dodgy costume that would have only sold fifty units to some half-witted skanky bints if it wasn’t for the National Eating Disorders Association bringing it to everybody’s attention.
Eating disorders are not a laughing matter, but in a celebration that commemorates serial killers and the undead – it will appear somewhat inoffensive to all but the over sensitive. The costume isn’t funny but it’s really no big deal either.
NYC’s Ricky’s, home of gaudy wigs, make-up and accessories for girls who like their style garish have already pulled the item, but needless to say, the item is still available in Britain where we generally take our humour black with no sugar and where we still celebrate one man’s attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament by burning human effigies atop massive bonfires once a year.
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