'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 (1,058 Responses)
  1. body shop supplies lemon grove


    May 12, 2021 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Washing Near Me

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Cheers!


    May 12, 2021 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Frame California

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new stuff you post…


    May 12, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rv upholstery


    May 12, 2021 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. tow truck repair shop


    May 12, 2021 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. progressive photo inspection near me


    May 12, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sprinter Van Recall Repair Near Me

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you should write more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people do not discuss such issues. To the next! All the best!!


    May 12, 2021 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rvupgrades reviews


    May 12, 2021 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. orange county trailer supply

    This site truly has all the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 12, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. collision center of temecula

    Very good article. I certainly appreciate this site. Thanks!


    May 12, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. toy hauler remodel

    Right here is the perfect website for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that's been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 12, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. หวย

    What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how on the topic of unpredicted feelings.

    May 13, 2021 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Remodeling Orange County

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 13, 2021 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. bathroom repair near me


    May 13, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Parts Los Angeles

    There's certainly a lot to learn about this issue. I really like all the points you have made.


    May 13, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv furniture california

    Good blog you have here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 13, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rv repair near my location

    After checking out a number of the blog posts on your website, I truly like your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website too and let me know how you feel.


    May 13, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. truck box repair


    May 13, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sprinter Repair Mechanics

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Many thanks!


    May 13, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. la palma rv


    May 13, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 2009 Stuck Intake Dodge Sprinter Repair


    May 13, 2021 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rv solar near me


    May 13, 2021 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. orange county tv repair


    May 13, 2021 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Conversion Van Screen Repair


    May 13, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. tow truck repair shop

    I'm pretty pleased to discover this site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new things on your web site.


    May 14, 2021 at 05:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mercedes Sprinter Steering Gear Repair


    May 14, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. rv restoration near me


    May 14, 2021 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Sprinter Repair Shops

    Howdy, There's no doubt that your site could be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent website!


    May 14, 2021 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Restoration California


    May 14, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Interior Designer Orange County


    May 14, 2021 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Driver Seats Los Angeles


    May 14, 2021 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. body shop raleigh nc

    Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up


    May 14, 2021 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. prediksi togel china

    I all the time emailed this weblog post page to all my friends, for
    the reason that if like to read it next my contacts
    will too.

    Look into my homepage ... prediksi togel china

    May 14, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. houses for sale around me


    May 14, 2021 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. camper repair places near me


    May 14, 2021 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Maserati Leasing Offers


    May 14, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. nearby realtors


    May 14, 2021 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Phoenix Lasik


    May 14, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Sand

    Hello! I khow thgis is somewhat off topic but I
    wass wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?

    I'm using the same blog platform as yours annd I'm having
    problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

    May 14, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Maserati Granturismo Pricing


    May 14, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. https://ebrschools.instructure.com/courses/5462/pages/latest-oracle-1z0-1034-20-exam-preparation-shortcut-to-success

    Genuinely when someone doesn't know then its up to
    other users that they will assist, so here it takes

    May 14, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. realtor sandpoint idaho


    May 15, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Eyeglasses Near Me


    May 15, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. fortnite star wars skins

    Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!|


    May 15, 2021 at 04:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. high risk merchant account

    Very good blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring
    writers? I'm hoping to start my own blog soon but I'm a
    little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
    are so many choices out there that I'm totally overwhelmed
    .. Any tips? Many thanks!

    May 15, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. collision repair raleigh nc

    A great read. I'll definitely be back.


    May 15, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. payday loan consolidators

    Thanks for the information.


    May 15, 2021 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. dc seo services

    Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!


    May 15, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Honest Air

    I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.


    May 15, 2021 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Emergency locksmith Texas

    This blog is great check it out


    May 15, 2021 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Leave a Reply to Freightline Sprinter Repair


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

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.