Today I happened to come across this CNN article about Halloween costumes, but it was a little different than what I had expected; the costume being discussed here was a sexy scary women’s anorexia costume. This consists of a short black dress with a skeleton design and a tape measure “belt” and choker.
I was absolutely shocked that costume companies have combined the generic theme of objectification and adorning women’s bodies now with increasingly prominent and serious female MEDICAL HEALTH ISSUES. This encourages young women to participate in praising an eating disorder, openly welcoming it onto their bodies in the most degrading, sexualized way possible. As noted in “The Cult of Thinness,” designers and companies are taking advantage of the ideal “ever thinner woman” and have now stooped so low as to try to sell a terrible disorder as a beauty ideal for women.
This costume feels like a personal attack to me as a woman and makes me sick to think that somewhere, a girl is asking her mom to buy this costume because she wants to appear “perfect,” “skinny,” and sexy.” This makes me think: Will the next costume be a “cancer costume,” or is that too gender neutral of a problem to put on the market? Will women ever be exempt from such disgustingly inhumane advertising and targeted body shaming?
Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy. “Selling the Body Beautiful: Food, Dieting, and Recovery.” The Cult of Thinness. New York: Oxford UP, 2007. 61-82. Print.