'Anna Rexia' costume upsets groups

Oct. 7, 2011 at 2:11 PM
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BELL, Calif., Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Some U.S. retailers and online stores have invited controversy by selling an "Anna Rexia" Halloween costume created by a California company.

The costume, which pokes fun at anorexia with a silk-screened skeleton print, bone headband, heart name tag, measuring tape ribbon belt and matching measuring tape choker, was first sold in 2007 and has since been discontinued by manufacturer Dreamgirl of Bell, Calif., but many online retailers and costume shops have raised the ire of eating disorder groups by continuing to sell the costume, CNN reported Friday.

Lynn Grefe, president and chief executive officer of the National Eating Disorders Association, said she finds the costume "appalling."

"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," she said.

Alicia Brockwell, director of marketing for Dreamgirl, said the designer of "Anna Rexia" has since left the company and the costume is no longer manufactured.

"We understand that some people will not find the dark humor funny," Brockwell said. "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."

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