Amazon US is selling a hoodie stating that anorexia is “like bulimia, except with self control”. And unsurprisingly, the hoodie has been widely condemned for being irresponsible by both experts and eating disorder sufferers.
The message on the front of the hoodie is something you’ll often see repeated on pro-ana websites – websites that promote anorexia and encourage people to embrace it as a lifestyle choice rather than seek treatment for it. Dr Susie Orbach, a psychotherapist and expert on anorexia, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire that the hoodie was "a way to make people feel really awful" when they were "already anguished enough".
Beat, the eating disorder charity, said that “When eating disorders are glamourised or trivialised like in the case of this hoodie, it can trigger negative behaviours in people who are affected by these complex mental health issues, which can cause serious harm. We urge the company responsible to stop making this hoodie, and call on all retailers, including Amazon, to refuse to sell it.”
Anorexia is a devastating illness which leaves the people who suffer from it vulnerable. The only responsible thing to do here is for Amazon to pull the hoodie immediately
Amazon hasn’t given a statement on the hoodie, but it has been pointed out that you can’t buy this hoodie in the UK. You can, however, still buy a charming range of eating disorder and fat-phobic related merchandise from Amazon UK including T-shirts stating that the wearer has “beaten anorexia” because they’re fat (despite weight being no indicator of how severe an eating disorder is) and even babygros with slogans about dieting on the front of them for parents who want to encourage a negative body image in their child from an early age.
Just as a reminder, reports suggest that 1.25 million people in the UK and 30 million people in the US are affected by eating disorders. Research has also suggested that out of all mental health problems, anorexia has the highest mortality rate. Anorexia is a devastating illness which leaves the people who suffer from it vulnerable. The only responsible thing to do here is for Amazon to pull the hoodie immediately.