The “Anna Rexia” costume sparked controversy two years ago after being pulled from websites and stores back in 2011, according to The Huffington Post.
The costume, which makes light of the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, has reappeared on several Halloween websites, causing another uproar.
“You can never be too rich or too thin,” reads the tagline for the costume.
The outfit, which features a screenprint skeleton minidress, a chocker neckband, measuring tape and an “Anna Rexia” badge, reportedly inspired a Change.org petition in 2011, which eventually led to its removal. Lar Hovsepian, director of Marketing for the company that manufactures the costume, Dreamgirls International, reportedly stated that the “Anna Rexia” costume was discontinued back in 2007 and no units have been sold since, according to Hypervocal.
“At this point it’s out of our control,” stated Hovsepian.
"Anna Rexia" Halloween costume rlly shows how much we as a society have to learn about mental illness I'm so angry pic.twitter.com/IbNFpHUwTH
— ayesha (@carafthealy) October 27, 2015
One woman, Jessi Davin, wrote a powerful blog post regarding her own experiences with anorexia in response to the costume. Davin was diagnosed with the eating disorder at 19 and was in treatment until she was 22, according to Buzzfeed.
“Want to dress as ‘Anna Rexia’?” the 26-year-old’s post reads.
“Just go as a vampire, or a zombie. Because 1/3 of us are dead.”
The “Anna Rexia” costume isn’t a joke. Davin’s post makes this very clear.
“I think costumes like [‘Anna Rexia’] really show how much we as a society have to learn about mental illness and the way it affects the people around us,” explained Davin.
“People need to know that if you suffer from an eating disorder — you aren’t a joke.”
“I think eating disorders are a disease a lot of people really don’t take seriously in the first place, and to see that costume really just made me think ‘OK. I can’t be silent about this anymore. I need to show the harsh reality that is anorexia. It’s not a joke.’ So I did just that.”
Davin reportedly just got married and is seven months pregnant. She is reportedly back in treatment in order to make sure her illness doesn’t affect her daughter.
“If my post helps spread awareness for anorexia and other eating disorders and helps those who don’t understand maybe comprehend just a little bit more, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do,” stated the mother-to-be.