A Halloween costume comprised of a skin-tight dress with glittery bones on it to indicate anorexia is causing an Internet stir as parents and eating disorder experts express dismay at the idea of making light of a disease that affects up to 10 million American women, and is the mental illness with the highest mortality rate.
The "Anna Rexia" costume, which also comes with a waist tape measure, has been pulled from many costume shops--more as the negative reaction spreads-- and it has been discontinued by its manufacturer, Dreamgirl. But it is still for sale by a few costume vendors and online shops.
"We understand that some people will not find the dark humor funny," Alicia Brockwell, Dreamgirl's marketing director, told CNN.com, "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."
Eating disorder experts are not amused.
"There is absolutely nothing funny about anorexia," Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association, told CNN. "If you saw an 8-year-old kid on a feeding tube you'd be surprised. Anorexia is not a choice - at all."
"Eating disorders are mental and the consequences are physical." she continued, 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 urged anyone who is concerned about eating disorders to call 800-931-2237 or visit NationalEatingDisorders.org.
(image via: http://www.dollymix.tv)