Apparently this is for real: Ricky’s, the costume and beauty store chain, is selling an outfit that allows you to dress up like anorexia nervosa for Halloween. As you can see, it’s a black dress with a skeleton on it, plus a tape measure for your ever-shrinking waist. The heart on her chest says “Anna Rexia” and that’s a bone in her hair.
We found another mention of the costume from back in 2008, though this is the first time we’ve been made aware of it. Incredibly, there is also a plus-size one. So, how does this stack up to all those sexist t-shirts? We’ve reached out to Ricky’s for comment but haven’t heard back yet. By the way, before you get huffy, we realize the costume is supposed to be a joke.
William Walters of the National Eating Disorders Association said that they’re aware of the costume. “It makes light of something really serious,” he said. “It’s hard for us to find it funny.”
Update 11:59 a.m.: A Ricky’s spokeswoman just told me that the CEO said the store wasn’t supposed to be selling the Anna Rexia costume anymore; it’s been taken off the website since we spoke with her.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 21, 2011