Plenty of people take Halloween as an opportunity to dress in more revealing outfits (/costumes) than they would, say, to the office; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! But it’s irritating that most of the costumes specifically for women, available at Halloween and party stores, catalogs, and the internet, are almost always revealing and often have the words “sexy” or “slutty” in the title. This upsets me because the costumes were designed by groups of horny Western men who ship their sexy ideas overseas for sweatshop workers to carry them out.
What makes matters worse is that the costumes are often based on stereotypes and are sometimes appropriative of certain cultures (like a Native American or Geisha costume).
Today, I saw the worst one yet: Halloweenstore.com’s “Anna Rexia” costume.
The picture on the website shows a young, thin, Caucasian woman with large breasts sporting a short, skintight black dress with the outline of a skeleton on it. She is wearing a red, circular button that reads “Anna Rexia”. The ribbon tie belt around her waist has the markings of a tape measure.
This outfit offends me not only as a feminist, but as a member of the eating disorder community. I find it absolutely appalling. Products like this completely delegitimize EDs as diseases, and encourage people to see them as something to scoff at. I don’t see this site, or any others, marketing costumes like “Sexy Leukemia Patient” or “Slutty Angiodysplasia Victim”. And why would I? Those are “real” conditions.
It pains me to know that there will actually be people walking around in this costume this Halloween. As a matter of fact, this costume has been on the market for a few years now. The department store Ricky’s has stopped carrying it, but why hasn’t everyone?