Anna Rexia

Halloween has a way of bringing out the sexy side in everyone. Every conceivable costume from witches to ghosts to yes, even Sesame Street characters, become sluttified for one candy-filled day a year. This trend has hit a new low: meet Miss Sexy Eating Disorder, better known as Anna Rexia. Costume shop Ricky's has finally come to their senses and pulled the horrifically offensive outfit from their stores and website.

I'm not sure which is worse Ricky's for initially selling it, or the designers for creating it. The costume itself is just a short, clingy skeleton dress. With the exception of a tape-measure belt, nothing about it visually implies life-threatening eating disorder. Why they couldn't just call it "sexy skeleton" is beyond me. I guess that would lack not-so-clever wordplay and controversy.  But having the audacity to conflate deadly body-dysmorphic disorders with sexual imagery is the worst case of mixed messages possibly ever. Here's hoping Ricky's throws a sheet over their shame-hanging head, ghost-style, this Halloween.

Commentarium (27 Comments)

Sep 23 11 - 3:06pm

Too funny. And people call me self-righteous?

Sep 23 11 - 3:16pm

I want that dress. and I agree, just call it something else and get rid of the measuring tape would be just as easy to do.

Sep 23 11 - 3:23pm

looks like a yellow ribbon to me, not a measuring tape........

Just to be sure, I did some research:

Sep 23 11 - 3:20pm

Halloween is generally about the gruesome and frightening. Naming the costume after a gruesome and frightening disorder is par for the course, isn't it?

As an aside--is it possible for Nerve to publish news articles without moralizing? I'm fine with a little colorful commentary, but there's no need to treat your readers as if they need Nerve to do the thinking for them.

Sep 23 11 - 5:02pm

Yeah, I don't get it. I could see them making a sexy costume about Bird Flu or SARS, and no one would give a shit.

Sep 25 11 - 9:12pm

Wait, so you're comparing bird flu to eating disorders? People don't just "catch" anorexia. There are a variety of social, cultural, and psychological factors that come into play with this disease. Educate yourself, please, before you go commenting all over the place with your sweeping generalizations. There are so many inappropriate things that can be funny...sorry if I'm just not seeing this as one of them.

Sep 25 11 - 9:54pm


Sep 26 11 - 12:44pm

Yeah, Ms.'re being a self-rigtheous cunt.

Sep 26 11 - 8:26pm

Ms, I dated an anorexic for three years. I lived through some valleys that I would never wish on anybody. Don't tell me I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. They're both diseases; I have no idea how you could honestly argue that Bird Flu and SARS are less serious somehow because there's a more direct line of transmission. I guess I just don't get offended that easily by Halloween costumes.

Sep 23 11 - 3:38pm

I suppose my desire to jump her bones is inappropriate in this context then?

Sep 23 11 - 4:39pm

Nope... pretty sure that was the desired effect.

Sep 23 11 - 4:39pm

Whatever! If this was a drag queen everyone would think it was HILARIOUS!

Sep 23 11 - 5:20pm

Uhm...I hate to be a debby downer here, guys, but having suffered (suffering) from an eating disorder, I am extremely offended by this. Why don't we make an Down's syndrome costume while we're at it?

Sep 24 11 - 3:14am

Someone who has DS can't help themselves for their condition. The same can't be said for those with eating disorders. What about those who would wear the opposite, fat suits? Are they not allowed to for fear of offending the obese?

Sep 24 11 - 11:44am

@@moi Eating disorders, contrary to what you might think, aren't "Oh I want to be super thin so I'm going to starve myself until prom!!1!!" It's not a "choice" or something that can be "fixed" magically without a lot of therapy, rehab, and constant support. As someone who has been in and out of recovery for ED:NOS - fuck you.

Sep 24 11 - 2:56pm

although the @moi comment does sound horribly inappropriate, i think the intention behind it was to state that eating disorders are treatable, whereas a genetic condition like down syndrome is not.

Sep 25 11 - 1:48pm

While Downs Syndrome is obviously not "curable", it still requires constant treatment and therapy, just like an eating disorder (also not curable). A close friend of mine is a nanny for a child with Downs Syndrome and she has to cart him around to all of his therapy appointments, to work on all the areas that he has trouble with, like motor skills, communicating, even walking.

An eating disorder, as with any mental illness, requires constant therapy and never goes away. Mental illness is not a choice that someone makes. It's part of genetics (and upbringing, to some degree) and is no more a choice on the patients part than having a learning disorder, or any other developmental disability. The stigma against those with mental illness, disorders and disabilities is ridiculous, because society at large turns it into the "you're not trying hard enough to fix it" game.

Sep 25 11 - 1:53pm

Also, @moi, yes, people wearing fat suits just for the sake of wearing a "fat person" costume would be offensive.

Sep 25 11 - 6:16pm

Sorry, there's almost no chance that anorexia is an exclusively -- or even primarily -- genetic trend, the way Down's Syndrome is. Down's Syndrome has existed at a mostly consistent rate until very recently, when it has started to decrease due to people getting their children selectively aborted. Anorexia has not. It has increased dramatically over the course of the late 20th century, and as much as proponents of the new 'it's all genetics' meme would like to deny it, seems to have a strong correlation with public perception of thinness being beautiful.

Also, while it's true some people need help for the rest of their lives, it is also true that others do not. There are some people that, while they may never have a completely normal relationship with food, and they can never forget how scarred they were in the past by their anorexia, they can mostly move on. That is completely impossible with Down's Syndrome. I'm not going to argue that anorexia isn't serious, that it's something people just need to get over, or any of that shit--but I will say that the comparison to Down's Syndrome is highly faulty.

Sep 23 11 - 6:01pm
Lissen Err

Anna Rexia ... sounds like someone from the Car Talk staff.

Sep 23 11 - 8:54pm

I'll bet there wouldn't be an outcry if this costume were size XXXL+ and was marketed under the name Hugh Jass.

Sep 24 11 - 3:48pm

"Why don't we make an Down's syndrome costume while we're at it?"

Ohh, that is nasty, Moi. Good luck with that eating disorder thing. Maybe, working on your compassion would help you with your eating disorder. Just a thought.

Sep 25 11 - 2:35am

How the fuck was that nasty? It was simply implying that making costumes based on legitimate medical disorders /disabilities is inappropriate. Also, what the fuck kind of a non-sequitor is "maybe working on your compassion would help you with your eating disorder"? This makes no kind of sense.

Sep 25 11 - 2:36am

Also, um, yes, dressing up as a fat person for halloween is also inappropriate.

Sep 26 11 - 3:17pm

White people problems, I swear.

Sep 29 11 - 10:15am
"@moi" speaks again

Given there's no further REPLY option for this response to appear where it should, I'm forced to start a new post. I only do so (given the time lapse involved) because this is the first time I've seen the replies subsequent to my own initial reply, and that contained within said responses needed addressing FTR.
Nothing can be done to make better the actual condition those with Downs Syndrome are subject to. So NO, it's NOT "just like an eating disorder", and NO "(also not curable)" does NOT apply to those with eating disorders. Therapy can and does work (as far as the alleviation all the way up to curing of the ACTUAL condition of the sufferer) for those subject to mental illnesses such as eating disorders (yep, Ripley's Believe It Or Not: there ARE those who once had eating disorders who now no longer have them). I can assure you the same cannot be said for ANY DS sufferer.

Regarding the (not derisible) attempt to educate me about mental illnesses, I myself have suffered from clinical depression for 30+ years (I'm 41), so I'm well versed in what it's like to experience/live with a mental illness. But obviously I'm therefore also very well versed in what it's like to have to tackle one with the intention of making things better (and to have experienced improvements on the back of such efforts, even if they were/are at the cost of going through hell). I feel fortunate that I have/had that ability/opportunity. DS sufferers do not.

As for the supposed offensiveness of fat suits, pray tell where was the uproar over Mike Myers character Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers films? Was he or was he not someone designed to make fun of fat people (more so than Scottish people, but them too), in an obvious fat suit? (ie. who has never come across the typical fat bastard?) Given your stated position, I guess you must think ill of the millions of people who saw and laughed at that film then? As well as being unable to enjoy those films yourself because of their inherent 'cashing in on their offensiveness' to fat people.
Right, onto the next one.
Thanks for the non-enlightenment of my consciousness. I'm well aware eating disorders don't run skin deep as to causes. As far as suffering from mental illness goes, what I've said above about CD leads to the following sentence: You can stick your "fuck you" where the sun don't shine, sunshine.
Last, but not least
You must be the intelligent one, 'cause you got it right away. Looking back at my initial response, sure I could have crafted it better (I don't visit this place with the intention of spending upteen years here, so necessarily my responses aren't invested with years of re-writings/edits), but the fact you got it in one said what it was, was good enough for the message (intended to be) conveyed to be understood. Be sure any inappropriateness wasn't intentional.
Since I've bothered on this occasion to take the time, I'll take further time by ending with this observation (in keeping with something in particular I've posted above): if they somehow managed to codify the condition of clinical depression into a suit (which in the general case of representing mental illness via a suit they have: its called the straight jacket and appears all the time at numerously themed parties), would I be offended at people wearing it on particular occasions, even thou CD is a mental illness? No, I wouldn't give a rat's ass. That's because I'm an adult with skin that's more than a millimetre thin, and I'm not paralyzed by the PC madness this world is in a grip of. I don't draw the line at laughing at anything (some of the best jokes out there are Holocaust ones: if you aren't aware of the Monty Python activity which yielded such a fantastic line from Graham Chapman, you need to find out), except laughing at that which is specifically designed to be malignant. Sometimes that line is thin, so you gotta have a capable mind of knowing how & where to draw the line. Is this Anna Rexia suit so designed? The answer is obvious for those with a fully functioning brain.
Life is too short, and REAL pain is too plentiful, to waste one's limited & precious energies worrying about such errant nonsense (CD is a condition that teaches that lesson SO well, let me tell you).

Final thought: You can please some of the morons all of the time, and all of the morons some of the time, but you'll never get the moronic out of the morons, so don't bother trying.

Thank you to those still reading, the next floor show will be at 8.

Jan 06 12 - 12:16am

Whoever created this is, is very insensitive. i have been dealing with this issue for 7 years i am healthy now and have a child but what i just came across on the internet is very offense. Who in the right mind would ever create something like this, i hope you got alot of negative feedback for this and i hope you feel some remorse. Good job i bet you have alot of people refusing to shop from the store again, because i am going to share this with everyone i know and you will not be recieving any business from me and the people i know. Grow up and learn a thing or two.