Every Halloween, women across the country get dressed up, using the holiday as an excuse to flaunt their bodies. It's a fact, not an opinion. Sexy nurses, sexy cops, sexy pirates, mermaids, hula dancers with coconut bras and genies-in-a-bottle. I've even seen an ad for a Sexy Ghostbuster. Really. And yes, I must admit, I've jumped on the "Look at me!" bandwagon, wearing a makeshift Britney Spears costume (Superbowl era), complete with a midriff-baring top, microphone, tight silver leggings striped to look like football pants and an athletic sock on my hand. I was 24, I did it, I'm over it.
But I was recently made aware of a costume being sold that is so offensive, so ridiculous and plain non-sensical that I didn't even believe it was true:
Anna Rexia. It's a "sexy" version of an anorexic, complete with a short, black minidress decorated with a skeleton, a choker-style necklace made to look like a tape measure (with a matching tape measure belt), a red heart badge that reads "Anna Rexia" and a headband that I believe is supposed to look like a bone. All for just $42.95.
This is just so, so sad.
As someone who suffered from anorexia in college, I know the terrible hurt and anguish this disease causes. And it is a disease -- in fact, eating disorders kill more people than any other psychiatric disorder. But can you imagine a Halloween costume making fun of, say, cancer? Or Lupus? Sexy meth addict? Then again, the company that makes Anna Rexia also sells a "Sexy Wet Nurse" costume (ew) and a "Sexy Ms. Mental Patient" outfit, including a long-sleeved shirt with vinyl restraints and Velcro tabs "to allow the arms to be crossed in front," white skirt and BELLEVUE cap. So really, nothing is off-limits. And at least they're equal-opportunists -- Anna Rexia comes in a plus size, too.
Of course, I understand that it's Halloween and lots of us like to play make believe, revealing our secret occupational fantasies (doctor, astronaut) or our wit (man dressed as a present, gift tag says "To: Women...From: God"). And yeah, it's fun to be outrageous and even risqué. But I just think making fun of anorexia has become so common, with bloggers creating nicknames for skinny celebs or the phrase "She's totally anorexic!" being tossed around like some sort of catty insult...and now this. Not to mention the horribly destructive Pro-Ana sites lurking in the Web. This costume glamorizes eating disorders, too: Note the woman wearing the dress is extremely curvy and attractive -- two things anorexics are most certainly not.
So do you agree with me? Is the costume insulting? Or could it be construed as "cute" or "clever"? And if it's the latter, then is the "Boo"limia girl-and-toilet combo for couples far behind?
Thanks to feministing.com for the tip!