Ricky's Is Selling an 'Anna Rexia' Halloween Costume [Update]

anna rexia .png
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, here is 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.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.



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86 comments
Me
Me

The cure for anorexia is marijuana.  Duh.  By the way, alcoholism is not a disease.  It is someone who has no/little self control.

meelee
meelee

I hate people. Seriously. I noticed that generally, people who "Hate people with eating disorders" and say "it's a choice, just go eat" , are usually unhealthy pigs who are also cheauvanistic assholes.

My twin sister died from Anorexia 3 months ago and I myself am on a feeding tube. I suffered a minor heart attack a month before she died from my anorexia.

I didn't choose this.

Janelleioimo
Janelleioimo

ha. oh my god. these comments are so ridiculous. this controversial costume is being way too drawn out. i literally forgot what it even looked like by the time i was finished reading all the idiocy.

sillyanonperson
sillyanonperson

People need to stop getting so worked up over trivial things like this. Relax, breathe, try to giggle a little, while keeping in mind that it is still a serious problem, no one is being hurt by a halloween costume. 

HalloweenHomade
HalloweenHomade

People really need to lighten up. I have a bunch of costumes on my site which might be considered 'in poor taste' including a Casey Anthony costume http://myhomemadehalloweencost...  

Halloween is supposed to be about having fun and being creative. I don't think people wear costumes to make a political statement. 

Cass
Cass

making fun of someone for being fat or dressing up as a nurse is different... anorexia isn't a lifestyle choice, its a mental illness.

the costume is insulting in the same way a costume of someone with retardation would be.

not to mention the fragile nature of its sufferers. their minds are already distorted, a stunt like this could be triggering and confusing.

Scarlett
Scarlett

I've lived with anorexia for 11 years, and I'm not offended.  It's a joke.  People aren't going to base their perceptions of eating disorders on a Halloween costume, anyway.  The media's cavalier treatment of EDs as diets-gone-overboard is far more damaging to the public understanding of the disorders.

We need to choose our battles, and this one isn't worth fighting.

anon
anon

It's making people aware of the illness. im an survivor of anorexia and i think its great. and i see the joke it in. its showing people that anorexics are walking skellinton's. peopl joke about other shit and no one complains. 

ShayeR
ShayeR

this is just pathetic.

Alaska Young
Alaska Young

I understand that the point of Halloween is to have the most ridiculous costume you can find, but i do think this is taking it a step too far. Anorexia is a serious, crippling, and devastating disease that I still haven't been able to overcome. It changes you in ways that I never even thought of before I had it. It's a terrible thing to be put through and to see someone flaunting it so blatantly honestly disgusts me.

Echostation3T8
Echostation3T8

They still stock the Fat Bastard costume. How do you define hypocrisy?

guest
guest

if your are doing to be upset with anyone, be upset with the creators of the costume.. which have also discontinued the costume. its not that big a deal. they wont be making it. thats it. that is all end of story. im tired of this popping up all over the place.

Tkluvscali
Tkluvscali

I hope the Zombies don't get upset this year 

Pjpmbaby
Pjpmbaby

i don't see the problem. i think its cute. i would buy it

Ali
Ali

As someone who actually suffered from the disorder, I think people need to calm the fuck down. Sure, it's a bit off colour, but they're just having a laugh. Stop taking your damn vigilante selves so seriously. 

Turla
Turla

I've worked at different Halloween stores for several years, and I think a lot of these companies have made a tradition out of making very insulting costumes. However, I think in the context of wild Halloween fun, I don't find them very offensive.  Anna Rexia has been around for a while, most people just ignore it.  They're neither overly offended or overly excited about it.  I've seen priest costummes with a strap-on with an inflatable prosthetic to put around the waist under the habit, and a fake bible with a cutout of a flask and a flask to put in it.  Pregnant nuns, 'hung like a horse', 'tricky dick', Department of 'Erections', I could go on and on. I mean, even a naughty nurse is extremely insulting!

Sydney Sixx
Sydney Sixx

This is just as serious as it would be if they made a costume with a bald cap saying to go as cancer. Fuck you guys.

Coyotedawg
Coyotedawg

I think some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope. They need to lighten up. Yes you have the right to be offended but not have the right to get payed for being offended. Politcal Correctness is going to be the down fall of this country. Ricky's needs to put this back on the market and quit cowtowing to the Whiners. This is truley a funny and the model is hot. Whiners go home and crawl under your blanket .

PrinceDaimon
PrinceDaimon

Sorry but I have to say that I honestly think that this costume is rather funny and I'm honestly sad that I can't get it.  Both my younger sister (who is overweight) and my wife (post pregnancy) thought it would be a good conversation starter for the Halloween party that my friends throw every year.  Really I think that the world should stop being so sensitive about everything.  If you don't like it then just don't buy it, but don't let your self righteous egos ruin what can be a good laugh for the people who aren't under the delusion that everything offensive is directed at them. 

Purrpussful
Purrpussful

I just visited the Halloween Store Web site; it's there.

Gm1mobile
Gm1mobile

Don't lose sales. Just lose the Heart, Bone, and Tape measure, and call her Airport Anna instead!!

RFBleachers
RFBleachers

meelee, I am sorry for your loss and for what you're enduring.  I really am.

That said, I have no idea why anyone continues to debate with BELOVEDSOLE.  The sad part of all of this is that he's not trying to be mean or insensitive.

He's just so naturally ignorant and uninformed that he truly believes what he says is right.  He's an innocent soul, but horrendously misinformed.

To those of you who either suffer from the disease or from the pain associated from a loved one's interaction with it, I offer you my prayers, and hope that you one day can return to a sense of normalcy and peace.

Cass
Cass

Its costumes like this that undermine the severity and seriousness of eating disorders.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Patients are not in control, they do no choose this.This is not a diet.This is not being "skinny" This is a deadly mental illness.

toniight
toniight

For myself, I don't think that costume is funny either, and I wish it was discontinued.

lalala
lalala

there's a massive difference between dressing up as someone's career choice/ spiritual calling  and dressing up as a medical or psychiatrical condition - not to mention how triggering this costume could be to someone who is currently struggling with the disease, or is recovered. Maybe i should dress up as lung cancer or oesophageal cancer (which my mother has) this year. Thats a choice right? cos you smoke or hang around with smokers... OR, just for fun I could dress up as a rape victim - because we choose that too right. I know i totally chose to be raped? MAYBE, I could Hack my legs off and go as a BOMB VICTIM in iraq... because its a choice to be there at the moment too, am i right? No? I offended a whole bunch of people? well, the lack of respect and understanding in these comments to me  -as a sufferer of an eating disorder for several years is also offensive. aesthetically (if you remove the tape measure) its a lovely skeleton costume which has been POORLY named. However the ignorant comments make it ugly.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

it isnt tho.. cancer.. that would be serious because of the acknowledgement that it gets from the WORLD. No matter how many times people compare this to a cancer costume its not the same thing. the diagnosis the, trearment, the prognosis NONE of it is the same. and no one takes the time out to think how you might be offending someone with cancer who'd give almost anything for the answer to their health to to see a shrink, go to therapy and start eating. there is NO comparison there. None at all. Im not saying that it is not a legitimate disorder but it is not to be compared to a terminal illness.

ShayeR
ShayeR

would you say the same if there was a cancer costume or another disease? as an anorexic, it's really not funny. it's a serious, deadly disease that i have to deal with every day and the fact that shit like this is on the market that just makes fun of my (and others) struggles is just plain offensive.

Brooke Coleman
Brooke Coleman

my best friend died from anorexia. it's not a joke, just like cancer isn't one.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

what about making someones religion, spiritual calling, ethnicity (native american) is any less insulting. i could respect this comment if you didn't make it seem like making fun of anorexia is any different than making fun of anyone else is different. if u tease someone b/c they are fat or if you do it because they're funny looking, short, too tall w/e its still taunting. no one is more serious than then other.

really
really

Ugh. You're the worst.

Carmen_LeBlanc
Carmen_LeBlanc

Number of times you post this ≠ how true it is.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

it isnt tho.. cancer.. that would be serious because of the acknowledgement that it gets from the WORLD. No matter how many times people compare this to a cancer costume its not the same thing. the diagnosis the, trearment, the prognosis NONE of it is the same. and no one takes the time out to think how you might be offending someone with cancer who'd give almost anything for the answer to their health to to see a shrink, go to therapy and start eating. there is NO comparison there. None at all. Im not saying that it is not a legitimate disorder but it is not to be compared to a terminal illness.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

it isnt tho.. cancer.. that would be serious because of the acknowledgement that it gets from the WORLD. No matter how many times people compare this to a cancer costume its not the same thing. the diagnosis the, trearment, the prognosis NONE of it is the same. and no one takes the time out to think how you might be offending someone with cancer who'd give almost anything for the answer to their health to to see a shrink, go to therapy and start eating. there is NO comparison there. None at all. Im not saying that it is not a legitimate disorder but it is not to be compared to a terminal illness.

Turla
Turla

I see what you're saying about this possibly causing a relapse. However, I think what's more important than pulling this costume off the shelves is to change the way that women are marketed to in the media, or at least change the way that people treat eating disorders.  Eating disorder patients should not be marginalized, and feel ashamed about their condition.  A lot more people have been affected by this disease at some point or another than what is traditionally accounted for. I have also had this disease, and what's more important is that we as a society can have a dialogue about what triggers it, and try to be more sensitive in our daily lives to the obstacles that people who are suffering from this horrible disease are constantly having to face.

ShayeR
ShayeR

exactly. eating disorders are so common now that pretty much everyone is affected by an eating disorder in some way or another. if your sister has an ED and you go to a party then see this, it's going to be upsetting. if you're struggling with an ED, it could trigger you. if you're trying to recover, it could cause a relapse.

anon
anon

Except you completely disregarded the fact that anorexia is a mental illness, and people who may be trying to recover or are still currently ill could be triggered by it, not to mention how family members/friends of a person who has died of it might feel. I do agree that making fun of someone's religion, ethnicity or physical appearance is uncalled for, but this could affect others' health.

Deanna Groshong
Deanna Groshong

my GOD this person is a FUCKING IDIOT, no one asks for cancer, and NO ONE asks for an eating disorder, it is the same, as in it shouldn't be made fun of and it IS a disease, just like cancer, diabetes, alcoholism, hypothyroidism etc etc ETC. GOD shut the fuck up, all of you. Saying people choose an ED is like saying people choose to have AIDS or cancer or alcoholism or schizophrenia. Doesn't happen.  

ShayeR
ShayeR

this is like talking to a brick wall. good lord.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

Obviously this is a losing battle. I am not interested in the freaking costume. i dont care about the costume. my concern..... NOT the costume. idk how else to say it. so i wont good night and good luck.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

i never said you did, YOU replied to MY response to SOMEONE ELSE.. lol I am referring to the first line of your original comment which was comparing an anorexia costume to a costume, i responded to the comparison of the diseases.. like i said MY CONCERN WAS NEVER THE COSTUME. i could care less about it. people make fun of everything. thats life, there is no cancer patient costume, yet jokes are made all time. but like i said my interest is not the costume, i dont care about that, which is clear in the content of all three of my comments. we have two different interest here. so why are u wasting my time? to tell me that you have a disorder. join the club.

ShayeR
ShayeR

and since i can't edit, i'm gonna rephrase the first part of my post. the prognosis, the treatments, the diseases themselves are totally different. but they're similar in the fact that they shouldn't be made fun of.

ShayeR
ShayeR

did you even read what i wrote? i originally said that they ARE NOT COMPARABLE. the only way they're comparable is that they're both horrible diseases that should not be belittled by stupid ass halloween costumes. you're the one putting words in my mouth because when did i say "that's like making fun of someone that has cancer?"

no shit i'm not the only one suffering from an illness. literally everyone is affected by cancer in some way, and the same can be said for mental illness in general. no disease should be made fun of by a stupid costume. that's my point.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

i said nothing about being made fun of. my issue is not the costume.. with RESEARCH, if anyone had done that, the item was OUT OF STOCK, on rickysnyc.com, discontinued by dreamgirl (the manufacturer) LONG ago. and after distributing and selling the costume for years it is only rising to the surface after they have discontinued it. no one has accomplished anything, the costume was never available at the beginning of this mess. the website had not been updated. as for people that still have unsold items in stock, they are going to sell them. because they dont care. i could give a rats ass about the costume. everyone is a day late and a dollar short. the reality is unless you have been affect by anorexia it is not as big a deal as cancer, nor is it as broad a medical condition. you can feel how ever you want. that is not my concern. i am voicing an opinion on the comparison of a disease that kills aprox 1500 a day to anorexia.

Belovedsole
Belovedsole

no. I am not discounting anyone disorder but do you think sitting here being compared to someone with anorexia knowing you have a terminating illness is "the same thing". "thats like making fun of someone that has cancer" << its not point blank. in the sense that it is offensive, sure so are pregnant nuns, and priests with erections. are the medical conditions comparable. not at all. and i never said anything about not doing everything u can for your heath. but unlike someone who has been told they have a limit on their lifespan, you have options, you are not the only one who is suffering from an illness. you havent found what works for u and when u do you will kno. but this is bigger than you. you are going thru something so you are internalizing a vague statement. if u want to make what i wrote fit your mold by all means go ahead. but just know that you are twisting my words to make them fit your response and they dont. 

ShayeR
ShayeR

they are not comparable when it comes to prognosis, treatment, etc. they ARE comparable when it comes to the fact that no one should make fun of a disease by making a damn costume about it. the costume makes it seem like anorexia is a joke.

seeing as part of your reply makes no sense, i don't really get what you're saying but i'm assuming you think anorexia is offensive to cancer patients? that's what i'm gathering from your post. i'm sorry but....excuse me? who ever said that anorexics wouldn't give anything for their health? yes, at your lowest point, you're so in over your head that you give up but the girls i know with EDs all desperately want to get better. but shrinks, therapy and treatment doesn't necessarily work. i've gone to support groups weekly, i go to a therapist weekly, i see a dietician weekly, i go to yoga every day to clear my mind, i did an outpatient program over the summer, i see my doctor regularly because of all of the complications i have. how am i not doing everything i can for my health? like you said, anorexia and cancer can't be compared in that respect...so why are you even comparing them? and for the record, there are many people in my life who have cancer or did in the past...none were offended when they found out about my ED. they know that i'm not avoiding eating just to be an asshole, i'm avoiding eating because i have a psychological disease.

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