COLUMN: Anorexia is not a costume


If a woman wants to dress provocatively for Halloween, she can choose anything from a police officer to a sexy Disney Princess, but now, she can even dress as an eating disorder.

“Anna Rexia” is the name of a Halloween costume. According to The Huffington Post, it was pulled from retailers in 2011 after it caused controversy for making light of anorexia nervosa. The costume parts include a black dress with a white skeleton, a measuring tape belt and a badge that says “Anna Rexia.”

In addition to the costume’s name – a clear spin on the word “anorexia” – the costume features a tagline that reads, “You can never be too rich or too thin.”

The costume has resurfaced for this year’s Halloween and despite uproar from some, is completely out of stock at the online retailer

An employee of who identifies himself by the name of “Joker” says they have received a few calls complaining about the costume. His response was, “We have costumes that offend everybody just about across the board.”

Joker says he doesn’t occupy himself with worrying about it.

A petition has been launched on by a woman named Olivia Ferguson that reads,
“ Stop marketing and producing ‘Anna Rexia’ costume.” The petition sites several statistics that relate to the seriousness and prevalence of the illness.

A signer of the petition, Josie Aquino, writes her reasoning: “Would you sell a ‘Cancer Patient’ costume, complete with bald cap and hospital gown? No, that’s sick. This is no different. It is inhumane to both glamorize and minimize the severity of a disease that claims lives on a daily basis.”

Others who signed the petition talk about their own experience with an eating disorder as a reason for speaking out against the costume.

Currently, the petition has gained 44, 576 supporters out of the 50,000 desired signature mark.

“Anna Rexia” has posed a question of our Halloween culture – what’s too far and what’s in good fun when it comes to choosing a costume?

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