In absolutely tasteless news: Amazon is selling a sweatshirt promoting anorexia.
The $25.88 black hoodie bears the phrase “Anorexia: Like bulimia, except with self-control” and is sold by retailer ArturoBuch. The item has a one-star rating from 60 reviews and a collective demand for Amazon to remove the item.
Some reviews include: “Eating disorders kill people. This is horrible” and “This is offensive and wrong!! This needs to be removed. Would you print a sweatshirt joking about cancer? Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and is no joking matter. Every 63 minutes someone dies from an eating disorder. Take this down immediately.”
An image of the sweatshirt was also posted to a Facebook group called Free to Be OK With Me, a body-positive organization, which expressed outrage. And the backlash was felt on Twitter, where the hashtag #BoycottAmazon made the rounds.
@amazon disgusted at your anorexia sweatshirt on sale! Eating disorders are NOT a joke!
— Elaine Ross (@fgsolutions1) September 30, 2017
Well bulemia is a very dangerous condition – and – having had both, Anorexia is *not* like bukemia with self control.
— moonatmidnight (@moonatmidnight) September 30, 2017
One reader even pointed out that the sweatshirt has been around since 2015, despite requests from the public to remove it.
— Kelly (@Meraki79) September 30, 2017
— Lee Dargue (@leedargue) September 30, 2017
Another Twitter user found other merchandise trivializing eating disorders, such as a T-shirt and a baby’s bib with the phrase, “I beat anorexia.”
Thank you for sharing this,Andy. Very concerning. They also have a ‘humour’ range of large ‘I beat Anorexia’ tshirts & even a baby bib… pic.twitter.com/A3WyezXchZ
— CaoilfhionnGallagher (@caoilfhionnanna) September 30, 2017
A spokesperson for both Amazon and ArturoBuch did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, the latter also sells men’s T-shirts with the statement “Bros Before Hoes.”
According to Jen Eastwood, an organizer for “Free to Be OK With Me,” positioning eating disorders as fashion statements, or pitting one type against the other, is counterproductive. “Eating disorders are so underrecognized and underfunded in the mental health sector, yet one of the biggest killers — it’s beyond insensitive,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Part of the reason, she says, is that eating disorders often conjure images of superskinny women, despite the fact that people with various body types can suffer.
“The research we’ve done shows how subliminal messages like from this sweatshirt affects people’s attitudes toward eating disorders and trigger those who are vulnerable,” she says. “It’s terrifying that this is ‘fashion.'”
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