This morning a friend of mine posted a link to an article & accompanying photo showing a curvy pretty obvious model in a skeleton dress holding a tape measure. I was seriously at a loss for a response. Since then the internet gods have responded in many ways to the link: guys who don’t understand what the fuss is about and girls who it triggers issues for….Unfortunately we live in a world where humor often blurs into grossly offensive. Unfortunately in this country even the offensive is covered by the First Amendment. However while no one can refuse the manufacturer the right to create such a costume (quote/unquote) we CAN take action by way of calling the manufacturer to voice our displeasure at their choice of ideas (I mean my first thought was how did this get tossed around a board room? “Hey guys you know what;d make a great costume idea….”??). Unfortunately my own bias crept into my assumption on how this idea came to fruition.
You see, the manufacturer, Dreamgirl, is a female run company. I will let that thought sit with you for a minute.
In further research I came upon a quote from the companies director of marketing, a woman. “While the costume is still being sold – albeit by scant few vendors – the manufacturer, Dreamgirl, discontinued it a couple of years ago. Anna Rexia was initially designed back in 2007 and Dreamgirl’s director of marketing, Alicia Brockwell, told CNN that the designer is no longer with the company.” Stating the designer is no longer with the company misleads consumers into thinking they let this person go or that it was a response to backlash. There isn’t controversy over a dusty unsold leftovers hanging out in the back of some store. Halloween costumes are seasonal product. The company made a choice to distribute it.. In fact the CEO defends it. “We understand that some people will not find the dark humor funny,” said Brockwell. “Or that they are sensitive to the topic it addresses. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and would never want to cause harm to anyone. Dreamgirl is a company run by women for women. Halloween is an eccentric and irreverent holiday for people to express themselves in a myriad of ways. While some people may not like a particular costume – it is a matter of taste and personal discretion.” The costume alone is not what most people likely find offensive. The outfit itself could easily have been marketed as a sexy skeleton (sans tape measure) . Its the nonchalant attitude from female executives (FEMALE) & abhorrent consumers.
We can voice our opinion at the Halloween stores that choose to sell this. We can voice our opinion in not buying the costume. We can contact Dreamgirl ( 1(800) 622-5686……5548 Lindbergh Lane, Bell, California…https://www.facebook.com/Dreamgirl.Intl)
Because yes, while we live in a country of free expression, no ones forcing YOU to partake in it. Bear in mind I’m not defending the manufacturer in ANY way. I don’t even want to look at the damn ad for the costume frankly. It makes me wonder how much the model got paid and what she was thinking as well. I mean REALLY?
On a deeper level, anorexia is a serious issue. It is not something to make light of much less imply is in any way “sexy.” Eating disorders are a mental illness with grave physical consequences. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. The repercussions of marketing it as “sexy” to girls and women are huge and horrible. But again let me restate: this is America. They can make it. They can sell it. YOU can call. YOU can not shop at stores carrying this costume. YOU can not purchase it . Let it collect dust on a store shelf & see how fast they decide it wasn’t a good idea. Thankfully with this particular costume, I don’t think anyone will buy what Dreamgirl is selling.