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'Sexy anorexia' Halloween costume controversy
October 7th, 2011
07:26 AM ET

'Sexy anorexia' Halloween costume controversy

It’s hard to imagine a deadly disorder being translated into a Halloween costume, let alone a sexy Halloween costume. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more inappropriate than sexy Cookie Monster, a costume has come along that reaches a whole new level of just plain wrong.

Anna Rexia.

The Anna Rexia costume features a black bodysuit style dress with a glittery, silk-screened skeleton print, bone headband, heart name tag, measuring tape ribbon belt, and the most shocking accessory of all - a matching measuring tape choker! We're not sure if the costume manufacturer intended for the choker to be a pun.

Critics say the costume makes a joke out of a deadly eating disorder. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Up to 10 million females and one million males in the U.S. suffer from diseases such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa.

CNN spoke to Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association, about the controversy surrounding Anna Rexia. Grefe was disturbed to hear that some retailers had actually sold out of the costume, but she's relieved that some stores are not selling it anymore.

"I find it just appalling," said Grefe. "Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and to think that someone that understood an eating disorder would actually buy this costume is an outrage."

Grefe said that only someone with a "sick mind" would purchase the costume, likening it to dressing up as a war veteran missing arms and legs or someone afflicted with melanoma.

"To me they're all the same," said Grefe, who pointed out that anorexia, like melanoma, is not a choice. "Talk about the ultimate in poor taste. That costume represents a sick perspective on this illness."

While the costume is still being sold - albeit by scant few vendors - the manufacturer, Dreamgirl, discontinued it a couple of years ago. Anna Rexia was initially designed back in 2007 and Dreamgirl’s director of marketing, Alicia Brockwell, told CNN that the designer is no longer with the company.

“We understand that some people will not find the dark humor funny,” said Brockwell. “Or that they are sensitive to the topic it addresses. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and would never want to cause harm to anyone. Dreamgirl is a company run by women for women. Halloween is an eccentric and irreverent holiday for people to express themselves in a myriad of ways. While some people may not like a particular costume - it is a matter of taste and personal discretion.”

Grefe said that even if the costume was meant to be a joke, it is no laughing matter.

"There is absolutely nothing funny about anorexia," continued Grefe. "If you saw an 8-year-old kid on a feeding tube you'd be surprised. Anorexia is not a choice - at all. The wrong people go on a diet, they lose five pounds but they like it too much and they lose another five pounds and lose all sense of reality."

Grefe also pointed out the physical consequences of anorexia.

"Eating disorders are mental and the consequences are physical," she said, pointing out that related health issues can include early osteoporosis, kidney failure, digestive system ailments, renal disease, and more. "If you're not feeding yourself, you're not feeding your brain and your body - and your body needs the fuel."

Grefe also urges anyone with an eating disorder to dial the helpline at 800-931-2237 or visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org

Multiple costume retailers have pulled the costume from shelves and online stores amid complaints, but several vendors still carry Anna Rexia – one online description of Anna Rexia includes the phrase “You can never be too rich or too thin.”

Another online shop’s description reads, "If Anna Rexia doesn't want to put it in her mouth there is nothing you can say to change her mind. You can stop trying to sell her on the point that there aren't any carbs and it's all protein because Anna Rexia just doesn't want anything to do with it. Make no bones about it this girl is as disciplined as they can get. Anna Rexia costume is anything but bare bones! Costume includes headband, choker neckband, removable ‘Anna Rexia’ badge and ribbon tie belt. If you're starving for attention, this costume will be sure to put you on top of the world."

As Eve Vawter from XOJane.com puts it, "Yep, you too could have been a sexy girl with a disease with a super high mortality rate for Halloween."

What do you think of Anna Rexia? Let us know in the comments section below.

Post by:
Filed under: Mental Health • Mind and body • Nutrition

soundoff (1,053 Responses)
  1. judy

    How about we start a conversation about the comment, "this is so retarded and gay?" That's every bit as offensive...come on people, wise up to the feelings of others.

    October 8, 2011 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Have a Heart

      Feelings are actually a choice. We CHOOSE to feel a certain way and there have been multiple studies on this subject. We 'choose' to be outraged at some of the silliest things, and make a huge stink about them, yet we 'choose' not to be outraged about things we really SHOULD be outraged about.

      This costume is one of those silly things to be outraged about. Is it in good taste? No. But then again, it's a Halloween costume. I've seen things worn and made for Halloween that are far more distasteful than this particular costume, and nobody has made a stink about them.

      People also need to stop being so Politically correct. I have a saying I like a lot:

      Political Correctness – Censorship by any other name... is still censorship.

      October 11, 2011 at 05:11 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Its not a matter of being PC its a matter of being a decent person. My little sister has been dealing with her eatting disorder for years and has had her recovery hampered by people who feel its ok for them to just say whatever they want or make jokes about her eatting disorder at her expense and then hide behind free speech when they get called out for being cruel. This outfit says a lot more about our society as a whole then just a mean joke. Since when is it ok to make fun of a serious illness that effects a lot of women?

      October 31, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    HEY EVERYBODY: GET THE GIANT STICK OUT OF YOUR ASS. It's a joke! Boooooo hooooooo!

    Happy Halloween!

    October 8, 2011 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joe

    Arina, give it up, you aren't a victim.

    October 8, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Wastrel

    Just to make it fair, everyone wearing one of these needs to be paired with a person wearing a fatman costume. There, I fixed it.

    October 8, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Samhain

    Awww, guess i can't wear my fatsuit that reads "Anorexia Survivor" on the shirt. I wouldn't want to offend anyone...

    October 8, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 20 Year Veggie

      Man, I could and it would be the truth! From 85 lbs to 150 twenty years and three kids later. Who knew?

      October 8, 2011 at 20:15 | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      LOL ! I guess I will now be led down the wrong path and become anorexic after seeing this article, as will millions of other people. The costume is funny (get a sense of humor) and the article is ridiculous and the national Eating Disorders Group is absolutely out of control and should not even exist ! Only in America.........

      October 11, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
    • Freedom

      Actually, the fact that we can have this kind of conversation is a good sign for the freedom of speech in the U.S. Sometimes just having the conversation is the best thing that can be done.

      October 12, 2011 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
    • Michael Jeromes

      It is appalling to me to witness both the indiscretion, the inhumanity, and the total and utter lack of empathy that so many individuals have (as exhibited on this forum) for individuals suffering from eating disorders, mental disorders, physical disorder's etc. One would almost wish that such individuals could experience a fraction of the suffering that mentally ill individuals go through in order to understand the involuntary nature of such diseases. Anorexia, Bulimia etc., unbenounced and perceived by a few ignoramuses on this forum have nothing to do with willpower, with self control, and even sometimes with food. It saddens me that such callaous peoples would posit a judgement on their fellows from a position of complete ignorance, complete arrogance, and complete absences of any type of empathetic endeavour. I will say as someone who was a bulimic for 3+ years, its not a choice, its not a lack of insight. Its a disease, perhaps more pitiable then the physical because it consumes, distorts, and destroys, ones sense of self. It dumbs one's feelings and conscious to the point where one knows to be sad, or happy, or mad at an event but can feel nothing inside. Its as if ones soul is wiped blank.

      To the pitiless individuals who speak from ignorance and contempt, I pity you. There can be no love where there is no humanity, where there is no understanding and to have no love for others means a complete absences of moral conscious. Such is the worst illness of all. I truly pity you.

      October 29, 2011 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
  6. opinion

    as a woman struggling with an eating disorder, it's hard to read comments where people say it's a choice, or to go eat a snickers, or that we're dumb. don't comment about things you know nothing about. i would never buy this costume because i think it's offensive, but we all have freedom of speech so if you wanna wear the costume, go for it. what sucks is people telling other people to "lighten up" or "get off your high horse." if you have a right to like the costume, then we have a right to be hurt by it.

    October 8, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 1amWendy

      I totally agree with you, 'opinion'. You have the right to be offended: people have a tight to buy and wear it. Humor is a sign of mental health, IMO, and those that wish to quash that right in others are a pretty controlling bunch.

      October 9, 2011 at 08:40 | Report abuse |
    • cmh

      I completely agree with 1amwendy! My sister has an eating disorder. I know it is a disease but sometimes I run out of patience with the 'the entire world revolves around me' part of it. (Gee what a suprise all the eating disorder organization are up in arms...) Why not make fun of it? Don't buy one if you don't want to. That you can choose to do.

      October 9, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • BB

      @walkamile.... You are no better than the CMH wishing cancer on someone. Talking about a hypocrite.

      October 9, 2011 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
    • Holly

      Wow cmh, heartless much? I struggled with bulimia for 15 years and never for a moment, considered it "all about me". Eating disorders are an illness, often deadly, and deserve to be taken seriously. Sure, joking about things can definitely be healthy emotionally, but buying and wearing this costume is in very poor taste and lacks compassion. Of course it's a right, but someone who wears it really should expect to be judged and criticized.

      October 9, 2011 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
    • Kitty

      Knowing someone who (fortunately) recovered from anorexia and having been married to someone who was an alcoholic, they have a lot of similarities. I understand cmh's frustration. I walked out on the alcoholic right around the time anorexia's family shut the door on her. None of us could stand by and watch these two not help themselves (and you have to want to get better – no one else can do it for you – in order for treatment to do any good). Both of these people responded by getting help and taking care of themselves. However, people I know who have had cancer, couldn't will themselves better. Big difference. So, cmh has a right to be frustrated and angry, and I completely understand that anger.

      October 9, 2011 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • Bethany

      The only people who have an "eating disorder" that I feel empathy for are starving children in poor nations who have no choice to be sick because they have no food. Everyone else has a choice to eat or not to eat. End of discussion.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • misskay

      Um, yeah, I had an eating disorder when I was younger and I think this is hilarious. Walkamile, I have MS now. Eating disorders are way easier than MS. I got over my eating disorder with treatment, my MS is destroying my life and I will NEVER recover. They are very different. Don't tell me to walk a mile in someone elses shoes when I can barely walk, okay?

      October 10, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • Bunny

      @Opinion, you're completely right! My grandmother had anorexia as physiological condition, not the more-familiar anorexia nervosa. It meant that she never felt physical hunger and had to force herself to eat every day of her life. She was born in the 20's so it's amazing she survived to adulthood, much less weighed enough to conceive and give birth to healthy babies.

      Grandma was always cold and it was probably watching what she went through that prevented any of us grandkids from getting eating disorders. It was painful seeing her try to get more calories down in any way she could, knowing that eating and drinking were sheer torture for her, but at least she was shielded from many of the thoughtless comments most people with the mental disorder get by virtue of her age. No matter the reason for the problem, insensitive comments from those who don't know what's going on can't help and can probably exacerbate the situation.

      October 10, 2011 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
    • Bunny

      @walk a mile: As a cancer patient who also has several severe autoimmune disorders, two of them crippling, I think it's terrible that you'd wish something like this on anyone regardless of who he is or what he's done. I'm not exactly a holier-than-thou type (I screw up far too much for that!), but Lord knows this much pain is too much to bear sometimes. Please, think before you say things like that. The older I get the more I believe in Karma and ill wishes seem to have a way of finding their way home.

      October 10, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • Have a Heart

      First, I have never suffered from an eating disorder, so I can't comment on or about those who do. What I can comment on though is that people DO need to learn to laugh at themselves, and sometimes their Illnesses in order to actually get better.

      When we take ourselves so Earth shatteringly serious all the time, it can only have negative consequences to our bodies and our health. I am reminded of the saying: Laughter does a body good. I know it sure as heck helps me get through the days when my Illness tries to paint the world black.

      That being said, I think anybody that wishes illness or pain on others is a sad, pathetic, disgusting human being and they should be ashamed of themselves. I know I am ashamed of them.

      October 11, 2011 at 04:49 | Report abuse |
    • SundaySilence

      I am 55 and 120 lbs... When I was 24 I was anorexic after the birth of my first child. I overheard my mother and sister saying howfat and ugly I was when I was pregnant and I flipped. Vowed to show them.... 1 year later I weighed 85 lb ( I am 5 ft 7) and I fainted at an office party). I realized if I did not get my act together it was not going to be a happy ending. I am also bipolar and have a very serious borderline personality. But it is holloween. We wear costumes to scare people. Anorexia is scary. I look back and I do not laugh about it but I can understand the costume and the "clin d'oeil" as the french say. I sounds better than wink. Until the media and hollywood stops presenting these skinny chicks anorexia will always be a problem. For me I felt perfectly fine, I was overweight because I was pregnant and had stopped smoking. My mother and sister did a number on my head with that one little rhetorical overheard question... "doesn't she look fat and ugly?"

      It has been lovely talking to you folks, thanks for listening now I can SCREAM!

      October 17, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
  7. 20 Year Veggie

    Former anorexic here. It's funny to me. But Milton Berle never was. Which just goes to show, what offends some cracks the rest up. Chill out.

    October 8, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 20 Year Veggie

    I would like to protest the model they used. No way would any serious anorexic get those big boobs installed! False advertising!

    October 8, 2011 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toxictown

      I think we could all take a few lessons from 20 Year Veggie here...own it...laugh at it...chase the demon away with laughter. Things only hurt us if we let them – don't give the disease that kind of power.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      You mean they are not real ?!?!?!!??

      October 11, 2011 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
  9. Lauren

    Halloween isn't a time to take costumes seriously. I find this costume hilarious. Halloween is a time for humor, jest, and outlandish wear. If obese women at WalMart can wear shirts about beating anorexia, and it's clearly a joke, and not get verbally beaten or harassed, then why is this such a problem?

    October 8, 2011 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rachel

    I don't care what the costume is called or what its supposed to represent. It's cute, I want it and would wear it anytime.

    October 8, 2011 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sir Colostomus Baggington III

    That would be really funny if a fat person wore it.

    October 8, 2011 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rev.spike

    Whatever happened to Halloween being 'for the kids'? Sometimes I want to cover my kids eyes while their friends moms act the fool.

    October 8, 2011 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lkt12012

      So let me get this straight. Halloween is just for kids? If you don't have kids, then you can't celebrate Halloween?

      October 11, 2011 at 01:00 | Report abuse |
    • Have a Heart

      Halloween (Samhain) was not originally for children. It was (as most of this nations Holidays) blatantly stolen from Pagan traditions and worked over by big business to make mega sales.

      October 11, 2011 at 04:52 | Report abuse |
  13. rb

    I've had an eating disorder for about ten years now... and I'm pretty sure this is hilarious and I want it for halloween. Honestly, people suffering from disorders like this know darn well how short life is, so I figure, why not laugh about it? No sense being depressed about it when you've already got one disorder to deal with.

    October 9, 2011 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Paul McNaughton

    am loving it

    October 9, 2011 at 06:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Gino

    Come on, it is just a costume. How many other costumes have we seen that is just skeletons. Geeze, get a life

    October 9, 2011 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Gino

    Wow!! it is just a costume. How many costomes in the past have been of skeletons. Get a life.

    October 9, 2011 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jack

    So.... this is a story about a custom that has long since been discontinued, created by a designer no longer employed the costume company, and is being sold by very few retailers? What next, a story protesting the living conditions of Civil War prison camps?

    October 9, 2011 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kitty

      Ha ha! Awesome.

      October 9, 2011 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
    • amy

      yeah, and somebody whose g-g-gdad was a civil war vet would find it offensive 🙂

      October 10, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
  18. Bob

    Why would an anorexic be out looking for candy to eat on Halloween? It;s a joke, People! Get over it!

    October 9, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. ag

    Sir Colostomus Baggington III is full of it....or empty...I am not sure..

    October 9, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Greg Huey

    Oh good grief – seems every day I hear about some new nonsense that someone has decided to get into an outrage over. Want to take a Halloween costume as a moral outrage? Then you are an idiot, and should be ignored. There is plenty of real injustice doing real harm in this world.

    October 9, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Frank N. Stein

    Yes, let's keep it appropriate for Halloween. Acknowledging the horror of anorexia is unconscionable and not in the spirit of Halloween. Thank you, Katie, for reminding us all that we should stick with wholesome and traditional costumes that celebrate eating the undead flesh of chainsawed zombies, casting curses of pestilence with eye of newt and toe of fetus, and donning hockey masks and taking up battery powered hand tools with which to pluck off the terrified members of a group of teenagers trying to survive in an abandoned warehouse, one by one.

    I'd never offend anyone with that aweful Anna Rexia thing, so my costume this year is a plastic hood, a filthy poncho, wires hanging from my fingers, and a cardboard box to stand on.

    October 9, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Futbol Czarina

    Humorous costume. Since when is anything Halloween taken seriously? Ultimate irony is when someone overweight wears it while trick-or-treating. How is that offensive to anyone?

    October 9, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. King Salmon

    Does it come in a size 14?

    October 9, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Bob in Pensacola

    Folks, if all it takes to get some suit pulled out of circulation is for it to offend enough people, then there outta be a lot fewer Representaties in DC right now. Guaranteed they've offended far more people than some silly rehash of a skeleton costume.

    October 9, 2011 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Bob in Pensacola

    CNN wasting the time of those of us who don't apply the "sniff test" to an article before reading it. Get to the middle of all the garbage, the manufactured story, and you find that it's a non-issue. Way to go, CNN, keeping the world informed about those up to the moment, 10-year out of date, crisis issues:

    "While the costume is still being sold – albeit by scant few vendors – the manufacturer, Dreamgirl, discontinued it a couple of years ago. Anna Rexia was initially designed back in 2007 and Dreamgirl’s director of marketing, Alicia Brockwell, told CNN that the designer is no longer with the company.

    “We understand that some people will not find the dark humor funny,” said Brockwell. “Or that they are sensitive to the topic it addresses. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and would never want to cause harm to anyone. Dreamgirl is a company run by women for women. Halloween is an eccentric and irreverent holiday for people to express themselves in a myriad of ways. While some people may not like a particular costume – it is a matter of taste and personal discretion.”

    October 9, 2011 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Paprika

    Uh.

    As a woman with an ED, I AM offended. And if you have an ED and you're not offended, good for you. That's terrific. But you don't get to decide how everyone else should feel about it. It's not magically inoffensive to everyone just because you aren't bothered by it, and I'm not overreacting if I have a problem with it. Ok?

    And AGAIN with the free speech stuff? Freedom of speech guarantees that no one will be unfairly censored BY THE GOVERNMENT. That's it! For realz! A company ceasing to sell a costume because a bunch of people condemned it does not violate anyone's freedom of speech. If anything, it's a wise business move. They want to please as much of their customer base as they can, and in this case, that means getting rid of the costume.

    Want to wear the costume? Find it somewhere else. Search Ebay. Make it yourself. Nobody's stopping you from mocking a life-threatening mental disorder. Your freedomz, they're intact yo.

    October 9, 2011 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paprika

      Oh, really now. If you're gonna get all trolly up in here, at least be creative about it.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • Bethany

      Would you like some cheese with that whine? Oh that's right ... you won't eat cheese. Guess you'll just have to whine on an empty stomach. Excuse me ... I have to leave now as my lunch is ready.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Paprika

      Oh noes. Real people, out in the world, havin' real problems, callin' other people out for being terrible, are totes oppressing you. I'm so sorry I exist. People like me must make your life very difficult.

      Again, if you want to be rude, be creative about it. I've heard all this spiteful, trolling crap before, and protip: you're not interesting or edgy. /eyeroll

      October 10, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • Have a Heart

      Paprika sometimes you have to laugh at the bad things in your life or they overwhelm you. It is when we take things so seriously that they consume us that our bodies start to betray us. No i'm not talking out the side of my neck on this, I suffer from sever Bi-Polar disorder as well as severe social anxiety. Medications don't help, so I have had to find other ways of making it through my day. Laughter surprisingly, became one of them and while it isn't a panacea, when things start getting rough for me, I start cracking jokes and while I might not manage to end the episode, I do seem to manage to reduce it's severity.

      I don't know if that will work for you, but a good laugh now and then does help, and sometimes we really DO need to just sit back and laugh at the ridiculousness our bodies put us through. I know for myself if I didn't, I'd not be semi-sane and likely not long for this world either.

      I hope you get better.

      October 11, 2011 at 05:01 | Report abuse |
    • Paprika

      Thank you for the good wishes, but again, nobody has the right to dictate how someone else handles their pain, unless that person is committing illegal acts. I laugh plenty. I do not laugh at this, and I resent the implication that not doing so is a failing on my part. I don't tell people how to handle their problems, and I expect the same courtesy.

      My main point was that this is in no way a freedom of expression issue, because nothing is being censored. The company pulled the costume from its website, but there is nothing stopping anyone from finding it elsewhere or making their own. The only thing I find amusing here is the irony of people screeching about freedom of speech and then telling people who disagree with them to "stop yapping." Congrats, guys, you spun the logic wheel and landed on bankrupt.

      October 11, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
  27. Monty

    Halloween is a pagan holiday about death. Seems like an appropriate costume for the day if anorexia is that deadly. Other types of "dead" costumes aren't offensive? I don't think that a particular type of death is more or less offensive than another. What is truly offensive is an accepted pagan holiday that celebrates death. I don't think you can condone the holiday and object to much of anything!

    October 9, 2011 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. not over-reacting

    Are these folk for real??? Getting all ticked off about a costume – "This isn't a joke!" but gee it's ok to kid about having an AX THROUGH YOUR SKULL! It's a halloween costume!

    October 9, 2011 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      I agree! Thanks for this post!

      October 10, 2011 at 02:58 | Report abuse |
    • Alexandro

      Just buy a cheap wal-mart belt and then a few small little dloalr bin things you can glue to it, then spray paint it pink!I bought a kid's wal-mart belt and cut it and then glued the cut part to make myself a quail-man headpiece once for Halloween. WIN!I am trying to get B to be each others' home states' stereotypes for Halloween. So I could be his, IN (pigtail braids, straw, overalls, plaid, CORN) and he could be me, aka NJ (ed hardy, fake tan, gelled hair, fake tattoo sleeves, beating the beat.) He hasn't agreed yet.kjpugs s last [type] ..

      March 4, 2012 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
  29. Anon

    I have battled anorexia for 22 years and have lost six friends to the disease. I make a point of NOT making everything all about me. I rarely talk about the disease with others because I do not want to burden them. This is a costume. I really do not care about a costume. What I do care about is the fact that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness but research funding into its treatment or causes is next to nothing. Lets give the profits from the sale of the stupid offensive costume to eating disorder research!

    October 10, 2011 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bethany

      So ... using your "logic" (and I use that term loosely), the profits from the sale of any hobo costumes should go directly to support the homeless? And the profits of any sale of a doctor or nurse costume should go to cancer research? And the profits of any sale of a witch costume should go to Wiccans? And the profits of any sale of a kitty cat or dog costume should go to PETA? How about we all just turn over 100% of our weekly paychecks to charities, so that no one gets to keep any money for their efforts. Would that make you happy?

      October 10, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • TAYB

      Bethany!!! AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 11, 2011 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  30. Susu

    I say: If you really want to make a stupid fool out of yourself, go ahead and wear this cosume. People without a brain and/or a conscience will laugh and think it's funny. People with a brain and a conscience will not think it's funny at all. Take your pick.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Caroline

      I pick being the person without a brain or a conscience who laughs hysterically at this twisted & funny costume.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
  31. Leslie

    While I do not condone anorexia or any other eating disorder, I must point out the insanity of the argument: "Anorexia is not a choice – at all. The wrong people go on a diet, they lose five pounds but they like it too much and they lose another five pounds and lose all sense of reality."

    Anorexia is a choice (otherwise it would be an autoimmune disorder or communicable disease). Anorexia is a complicated physical manifestation of incorrect thinking willfully adopted by someone who has assumed a faulty belief system. If it is not a choice then treatment would be futile since the afflicted would be powerless and unable to choose a path to recovery. Humans are one of the only creatures on the planet who have the ability to deny the feeding instinct via advanced thought processes. Grefe herself references "liking" of losing weight. A personal disposition to anything is always a CHOICE. Additionally, who are the "wrong" people she mentions? When did going on a DIET fail to be a choice? Goodness – could I wake up one morning and suddenly have anorexia without my consent or knowledge? If it's not a choice...

    Humor generally lies in relation of the situation to personal choice. We rarely poke fun at "victims" unless they were the responsible party for their own reality.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brianne

      Anorexia, drug use & alcoholism are not diseases – they're choices. You can choose to eat or not eat. You can choose to drink or not drink. You can choose to do drugs or not to. A disease is something that can't be overcome/cured through the sheer force of will. If choosing to drink to excess or choosing not to eat or chooses to shoot heroin are "diseases", then smoking should be considered a disease too, along with people who use too much perfume and people who watch too much tv, or people who gamble to much, or spend too much time playing video games, etc.

      October 10, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      The difference between anorexia and alcholism is that the latter involves a physically addicting substance, the former does not. Anorexia is a disease but it also involves choices. What I don't understand is we can make fun of fat people all day long (and actually heart disease linked with obsesity has a higher mortality rate, CNN) because we think overeating is a choice but undereating is not? At least keep it consistent

      October 10, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
  32. CM

    The costume was discontinued in 2007, yet CNN feels the need to make this a front page news story now. Some people just spend their lives looking for things to be offended about...

    October 10, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sarah

    I'm a little surprised by all the commotion over this costume now. The manufacturer has been selling this costume for years. A lot of Halloween costumes are in bad taste. It's one day a year. Let's move on to something important.

    October 10, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. NoGr8rH8r

    Once Again. Stop the Nonsense. Who Cares? Don't buy the costume! This is such a non issue. If they would have called it "Skin and Bones" it would have gone un-noticed.

    October 10, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Hoolie

    Does it come in size 2XL......now that would be irony.

    October 10, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Kiaser Zohsay

    Discontinued in 2007? Why are we still talking about it? The only vendor Google can find with a costume of this name is in the UK, and it has no accessories. The dress looks similar, but its just a black dress with a skeleton on it, which leads me to conclude it is from a different manufacturer. Of course, British humour is far more subtle than in the states, so their customers are far less likely to get their knickers in a twist.

    October 10, 2011 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Brandi

    Are you kidding me? How in the world did we get to the point that we would ever find this kind of thing funny or awesome?? This is beyound sick or ok. if you think its ok then Dear God go get help because you are very mentally screwed up!

    October 10, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Badly-Bent

    The lady wearing the costume would look cute in just about anything. I don't see anything interesting about this costume that I would award a prize for. I've seen much better and much more amusing costumes then this. But, hey if you think its flattering go ahead and wear it.

    October 10, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. shooter

    I just can't get over how hot the model looks in that highly offensive and insensitive costume!

    October 10, 2011 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. wllmtroy

    It's going to be worn once, at night and no one will probaly remember the outfit unless someone mentions it when another cotroversial costume irks someone next year.

    October 11, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Debbie

    I am digusted.......with eating disorders on the rise among our children, a costume of this nature would be marketed. Shame on anyone who would think or wear such a thing!!

    October 12, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. kurva

    If American women and men are trully serious about doing something about anorexia number one stop buying magazines that advertize anoresic models stop buying clothing advertized by anorexic models and also makeup. send a message to the advertizers we will not purchase your products, hit them where it counts in their pocket books. Eating disorders increase tenfold in countries where this type of advertizing shows up.

    October 12, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dctrtuba

      Thank you; finally someone on here with some sense.

      November 16, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
  43. :(

    Wow, These comments show how cold some people can be! Our society is screwed up...

    October 13, 2011 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. H bowman

    She doesn't look hungry at all. I don't see what the problem is.

    October 19, 2011 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. marvina@halloween-costumes

    Hi,
    There are lots of collection of halloween costumes
    for woman. This is very nice article. I can follow all tips. Thank you.

    October 21, 2011 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Louise

    Its funny until it happens to you. then, I can assure you, you won't be laughing.

    October 30, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. megan

    i dont find this funny at all. Its really inconsiderate to people that have a disease. For everyone saying to have a sense of humor, believe me, I do, but not at an eating disorder. This is the same as having a costume about cancer, or some other serious disease, so if you think someone should "have a sense of humor" about the fact they will die because of a disease, thats pretty twisted. Ive had bulimia since i was eight years old, and after my mom died because of MS, and Pancreatic cancer, i developed it agian. There is absolutely NOTHING glamorous about an eating disorder...if you think looking in the mirror and hating yourself for no reason, let alone not having help from anyone because your afriad of judgement like the kind on this forum, or forcing yourself to vomit is "humorous" or "glamorous" I don't understand that.

    November 1, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Biggster

    On Halloween you can wear anything, you want. even a costume like that. There are no rules anymore and who cares, what society thinks?

    November 3, 2011 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. wow

    eating disorders are a choice. you can choose to eat or not, unlike cancer which is not a choice. kids all over the world are starving because they can't get food and you people CHOOSE not to eat it. You make me sick. Please stop eating entirely and starve yourselves to death, then there will be no one left to be offended. Thanks, sincerley insensitive jerkhole.

    November 3, 2011 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Jezzy

    The hopeful side of me is thinking that most of the people who bought this costume bought it to be a skeleton, not an anorexic woman. Even though the costume name alludes to anorexia very clearly, the costume is easy to doctor. But then, people can be stupid... some of the comments here are evidence of that. It is hard for people who have a "normal" relationship with food to understand the compulsion to stop eating, purge, binge, etc. Sometimes it seems they don't even try.

    November 11, 2011 at 01:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.