It's that time of the year again: the season of adapting other people's struggles as Halloween costumes without regard to how disrespectful or triggering they might be! Somehow, one costume that continues to circulate (and even sell out) every year is the "Anna Rexia" costume, a skintight, skeleton-screenprinted black minidress. Because what's sexier than a mental illness that claims more lives than any other, right? As 26-year-old Jessi Davin, who suffers from the disorder, showed in a heart-wrenching Tumblr post in 2013, the reality of anorexia looks very different. "Real sexy, huh? Not really. This is 'Anna Rexia's' real monstrous face," she wrote alongside a screenshot of the costume, juxtaposed against photos of herself in treatment and tweets she sent while in the throes of her disorder. "I almost died from this. I know it's supposed to be funny and shit and yeah I get that, but seriously. THIS IS NOT FUNNY. Anorexia is nothing to party about or laugh at. It's real, it's deadly, and it should not be marketed as a slutty outfit."
Anorexia is the third most prevalent chronic illness among teens; BuzzFeed reports that Davin herself was first diagnosed at 19 and spent some four years in treatment. Of those who suffer from the disorder, 20% will die prematurely from complications, including suicide and heart problems. "Want to dress up like an Anorexic?" Davin writes. "All it takes is four years of hospitalization, a nasogastric feeding-tube because...your body doesn’t recognize food as a good thing and tries to attack itself...emotional struggles for years...[and] a coffin. Because I’ve lost more friends to this eating disorder then anything I’ve ever faced."
Davin is now seven months pregnant and back in treatment to ensure that her pregnancy, which is high-risk due to her anorexia, is healthy. As she fights for herself and her unborn child, Davin's two-year-old Tumblr post is as poignant as ever — and will hopefully dissuade those who bought the "Anna Rexia" costume (it's sold out here) from actually wearing it this weekend.