Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

Halloween has always been a holiday for people of all ages to leave behind their normal facades and be creative versions of someone or something else. Miley Cyrus and Breaking Bad character, Walter White, are both expected to be very popular Halloween costumes this year. “Anna Rexia”, a sexy skeletal costume that mocks a very serious eating disorder, will not be.
Eight million Americans have an eating disorder. In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any metal illness. Only one in 10 people who suffer from an eating disorder receive treatment. These are only few of the many shocking statistics associated with anorexia nervosa, and these shocking numbers are the reason thousands of people are displeased and disgusted with the “Anna Rexia” costume that has returned to the Internet.
The costume consists of a short black dress with the image of a skeleton accompanied by a headpiece shaped like a bone and a heart with “Anna Rexia” written on it. There is even an optional measuring tape that comes with the costume. The curvy model showcasing the costume online has her measuring tape tied tightly around her thin waist.
“Anna Rexia” first surfaced online in 2007, created by a company called Dreamgirls International. The company makes and sells Halloween costumes for websites that sell many other costumes. Many of these vendors received complaints when “Anna Rexia” first hit the virtual shelves, and the costume was taken down from some sites. Ricky’s, an online costume and beauty store, pulled the outfit off of their website after apparent and widespread disappointment from customers.
Recently however, the costume has made an appearance again on a website called HalloweenParty13.com, and the public is still just as outraged. A petition called, “HalloweenParty13.com: Stop marketing and producing ‘Anna Rexia’ costume” has been circulating on Change.org. There are about 24,400 supporters through this petition. Accompanying each electronic signature is a comment with the reason for signing. Josie Aquino from Maryland wrote, “Would you sell a ‘Cancer Patient’ costume, complete with bald cap and hospital gown? No, that’s sick. This is no different.” Numerous comments include personal accounts of people suffering with anorexia nervosa.
As I scrolled through pages of comments, the offensiveness of this costume became very apparent. The costume did not just offend people battling an eating disorder, but people of all lifestyles came together to voice their disapproval. Some even argued that Halloween has lost all innocence.
Halloween has given people across the country an excuse to be as bold and, unfortunately, as offensive as they like. Year after year, rubber masks of the President and Vice President are marketed and sold by the bundles. Sexy nuns, and over-the-top popes grace our city streets. Even half-naked Sesame Street characters can be found online.
The Halloween costume industry grows every year. Plastic dresses are sold for over $40. Some characters even offer several versions of the same costume. Today, there are costumes for just about anything you can think of. Where do we draw the line? What is next for the future of Halloween costumes? When did portraying a serious eating disorder as sexy become acceptable?
Halloween should not be an excuse to disrespect other members of society. Instead, Halloween should be a chance to express ourselves in the fun, respectful ways we all used to as children.
Elizabeth Coppa is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies and minoring in journalism. She can be reached at EC744351@wcupa.edu. 

One thought on ““Anna Rexia” costume mocks serious mental illness”
  1. I would like to find the designer of this costume so I can screw with their face and make a costume out of it because it is no different than them making a costume out of my disorder.

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