Using language about eating disorders to sell fashion is not okay, and tbh, I’m not sure why anyone ever thought it was. However, it’s unfortunately not actually that uncommon, and plenty of companies have come under fire for selling merchandise that seems to push a pro-eating disorder agenda. That’s exactly what’s happening right now with Amazon. Not only does a sweatshirt they’re selling seem to suggest that both bulimia and anorexia are totally okay, the language on the clothing item turns the disorders into a joke. Yeah — not cool.
The garment in question is a black hoodie that bears the language “anorexia: Like Bulimia, except with self-control” on the front in bold purple letters. Not only does it make a joke of both anorexia and bulimia, it seems to suggest that folks with anorexia are somehow “better” than people with bulimia, shaming people who suffer from the latter disorder. It’s also false to claim that anorexia is “like bulimia, except with self control,” as the disorders are far more complex than that. As of right now, the item has one and a half star rating on Amazon and 66 customer reviews, and people are calling for its removal from the retailer.
People are leaving one star ratings without purchasing the product, saying such things as, “So disgusting. There is a special place in hell for people like you who profit off of young girls dying of eating disorders. And don’t think we are not organizing a boycott of you Amazon, you corporate jackass with blood on your hands,” and “This rating is not for quality of this shirt, it is for the what this shirt says. Eating disorders kills people every day. Please remove this item!” Twitter has also gotten wind of the item, and many folks have tweeted their support at its removal.
While having humor in the face of mental health issues can be a wonderful coping mechanism, that’s up to each individual, rather than corporations seeking to make money off of eating disorders. We’ll see whether Amazon listens to its customer base.
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