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Articles > Mental Health November, 09, 2015

Some Twat Made An Anorexia Halloween Costume

November, 09, 2015

Amelia Robinson Applicant Panel member. Member since 28/10/2015.
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“I was recently arrested for skinny dipping in my backyard; apparently it’s illegal to kidnap anorexics and throw them in the pool.”

Oh, how riveting, is that another attempt at making Anorexia into a joke? Much like the supposedly humorous “Anna Rexia” costume that’s now available, this joke falls flat. Reality check – Anorexia isn’t a joke and it’s not “a piece of cake”; excuse the pun. If it were, it wouldn’t be a petit four or a slice of angel cake. Instead, it would be a “devil’s food cake”. After all, for an anorexic, a slice of cake that rich is a nightmare.

some twat made a halloween costume mocking anorexia

Photos by www.partydelights.co.uk

Anyhow, enough of my attempt at wit. I genuinely think that society and some of the people within it have degraded to a level which I never believed to exist. Yes, Anorexia is scary – but that doesn’t automatically make it worthy of a Halloween costume. Yes, on the shelves with costumes of vampires, cats and sexy pumpkins you’ll find an “Anna Rexia” Halloween costume. I really don’t understand how someone managed to get away with designing and selling a costume to mock a psychological issue, which actually has the highest mortality rate out of all mental health illnesses.

I am sure that an uproar would occur if people were frantically ordering costumes to dress up as a homosexual, or if companies began producing outfits based upon racism or sexism, or mocking an alcoholic, wearing an outfit and carrying around a sign saying “I don’t want a trick or treat, just a bottle of gin”. Or wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise if a parent took their little girl into the Disney store to buy a princess outfit and they were advertising a new costume; “The 6 year old cancer patient”, who has a weak face, worn sunken eyes and hair which fell out with time.

One-quarter of sufferers will die; either from Anorexia itself or more commonly, a secondary condition that develops because of the eating disorder.

If Anorexia is so brutal, I can’t help but wonder why the fashion industry feels the need to design a costume around it. I mean how petrifying, a skin tight, short black dress with the design of a female skeletal body. Even better, the skeleton is embellished in silver glitter. How glamorous and sophisticated. To complete the Anorexia Halloween costume, there’s a tape measure and a removable ‘Anna Rexia’ badge. Perfect – that really is the icing on the proverbial cake.

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In “real life” Anorexics are not satisfied with their body shape or size until they are six feet underground. While that sounds harsh, it’s the truth and NOT a laughing matter. Plus, the majority of anorexics wouldn’t flaunt their body in a short, skin tight dress – mainly because they have no grasp of their actual body shape. Being in public, with their body on show, is just as tormenting as the devil’s food cake analogy.

Anorexia isn’t glamorous, it isn’t sexy, and it certainly isn’t anything desirable. The truth is, Anorexia is psychological torture, constant self-criticism, an unshakable chill, an irregular heartbeat and foul breath that occurs when your liver begins eating away at itself because your body needs nourishment. But most of all, Anorexia is a life of missed opportunities, broken families and a lifeless soul.

No matter how much you want to, you can never take off that pin that reads “Anna Rexia” and make it disappear.

So, that Halloween costume doesn’t seem so funny or glamorous anymore does it? It especially doesn’t sound funny to me. I’m an eighteen-year-old girl who has struggled for years with anorexia, missing her adolescent life and being force-fed by a nasogastric tube three times a day. Anorexia is real – just like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and should be treated like a real problem. After all, no one would wear a cancer patient Halloween costume—no matter how much glitter was included.


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  1. Lauren
    November 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I was also enraged by this costume and disgusted anyone could think it was appropriate in any way. This is a brilliantly written critique of not just the costume itself, but the way society views anorexia, and why it should be taken more seriously. Keep writing – you’re an inspiration.

  2. Dharma Allan
    February 2, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I suffered from anorexia myself and it’s bad enough knowing that people don’t take you seriously, without people making a joke out of anorexic’s suffering. It’s a serious mental illness which results in death! How is this funny? If there was a joke about an illness like cancer, no one would stand for it! This just shows how shallow our society is, deciding which illnesses matter and which don’t. The ones that don’t tend to be those which you can’t see.

  3. Charlotte Brown
    November 19, 2015 at 12:53 am

    I think this is disgusting. Something so serious that affects so many to be used as a joke.

  4. Raven Goodenough
    September 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    We need to keep in mind that some people cope with issues in society by laughing at them instead of crying i mean which would you rather do laugh or cry? if everything is taken so seriously in life people will have even more inflated egos and self worths which will encourage even more supposed mental illness due to the pressure of having to keep up with society’s standards. personally think its childsish to make such a deal out of a costume for halloween. people have dressed as jimmy saville and other similar characters which is also triggering to people (and in an arguably worse way because what happened to them was not self inflicted) and nothing was done about it as it was taken lightly by laughing bitterly at the sickness behind it and not letting it get us down. we are in england people irony is our thing 😉

  5. Thabie Nyathi
    July 15, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I totally agree with this. Mental disorders are now always used as the butt of a joke but where it any other physiological joke, people would go mad. Those suffering from such disorders will be the first to tell you how much of a struggle it is and they deserve the same curtesy as everyone else!

  6. Irisi
    May 3, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I think that this is just disgusting and a real mockery of a very serious issue that affects so many teenagers all over the world. Perhaps this was not intended to offend anyone and was just meant as an idea for a costume, but you still have to take into account the rest of society and I just don’t think this is acceptable and it is a real representation of how far companies in society will go in order to sell their products and make money.

  7. Pratik Gurung
    May 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    This isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Many lives are lost due to mental health issues every year. Doing something like this is not only disrespectful, but it is also making a joke out of something that is already not taken seriously enough.

  8. Mary Abb
    March 13, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    whoever thinks that making fun of a mental illness or dressing up as one is funny is literally out of their mind like these people go thru hell everyday and some douche who who probably gets everything up their ass makes a joke out of an illness.. you wouldnt dress up as a cancer patient so why would you as an anorexic

  9. Amy Rickenberg
    January 26, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I think… As an anorexic that yes, this is too far. Though as part of my recovery I had to learn to accept what I have and laugh at it. Still not condoning that costume but I think that the whole mental health ‘it’s not funny’ thing that’s going on right now needs to calm down. I have a list of mental disorders and the only thing that gets me through it is laughter. Seeing all these posts ‘mental
    Health is not attractive’ and ‘mental health isn’t funny’ actually makes me feel worse. I want to feel and be treated like everyone else. People put on fat costumes and you don’t see everyone kicking off? And isn’t that equally as dangerous?
    I think they could have approached this different but I still think the whole thing is silly.

  10. Olivia Randell
    January 4, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I think…I have recently been discharged from CAMH’s, but still having some set backs from being depressed, anxious and maintaining a healthy weight (Was very close to being severely anorexic – Hospitalised if I didn’t make changes fast). Anyway, I think that this rant may be good because you get your anger out without hurting anyone (Good for your mental health!)… however, I think it is fine for costumes such as this anorexic one because I don’t find it harmful at all! Why do people need to find something wrong in everything? yes I may be faulting you which means I am contradicting myself but I have a good point… I promise!
    It may come across offensive I agree but do you honestly think that the fashion and media industry are forcing discrimination out into the public? I think not otherwise they would be branded idiots and their product would not get sold leaving them with a debt for manufacturing a pointless product….
    I’m not offended in anyway and I have been at the bottom of a dark hole for a long, long time! Think of it like this, would you buy a different coloured or ethnic, dead person, famous person or sexualised fancy dress costume to be mean on Halloween/ fancy dress party or would you wear it because it is just a laugh and nobody should really judge your costume on such a deep level whilst intoxicated with alcohol for a good night ahead? Xxx

  11. Hannah Marshall
    November 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    This is actually disgusting. People need to get it into their heads that anorexia is a disease, and not something people have to seek ‘attention’.

  12. Nora Smith
    November 15, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Most people would have no idea what affect this illness has on the sufferer, I think Amelia’s brilliant article will certainly change some people’s views on this subject.

  13. Richard Smith
    November 15, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    What a wonderful and straight to the point view on how certain parts of our so called civilised and educated society see this terrible illness. Good for you Amelia. x

  14. Sam
    November 26, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Kinda funny how everyone supported free speech and letting everyone insult whoever they like with their jesuis charlies but now have regressed to asking for things they find insulting to be banned

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