Halloween: Outrageous Mental Health Costumes

Halloween has always been a holiday I’ve enjoyed, the pumpkin carving, scary decorations and of course the excuse to dress up as whatever you like!  However In recent news supermarket giants Asda and Tesco shocked the nation with their ‘Mental Patient’ Halloween costumes, Asda’s version features the straight jacket covered in blood and a machete, the mask is pretty scary as well! Mental Health charities were outraged by the way the costume represents individuals with mental health disorders and deemed it incredibly bad taste.

mental patient costumesThe costume retailed at £20 has now been removed from sales, harmless costume or discriminating against mental health? That’s for you to decide. Asda has also decided to donate £25,000 to Mind a mental health charity.

Tesco’s orange jumpsuit deemed ‘Psycho Ward’ was a costume I didn’t see as too harmful due to it reminding me of Hannibal Lecter, famous in films and novels, again this caused outrage and the costume has been withdrawn from the site.

Hannibal LecterPersonally I feel Tesco only opted for this costume due to the rising popularity of the TV series Hannibal rather than considering the offence it may cause.

Female Costumes

Shockingly outrageous mental patient costumes aren’t only marketed towards males, even females have costumes aimed at them including ‘Anna Rexia’.

Anna Rexia CostumeIm not sure where this costume was being advertised but I feel this is the worse one of them all, Anorexia is a huge problem affecting a lot of individuals so why make it ‘gimmicky’ and into a costume, the costume even includes a measuring tape belt and choker, the fact that they’ve tried to make the costume sexy makes it seem acceptable to have the disorder.

Finally from Joke.co.uk comes the female mental patient costume, a hospital wristband is included to show the ‘patient’ has been committed to hospital. Personally this reminds me of a character you’d find in a Japanese horror film but it is still offensive to categorise it as a mental patient costume.  The doll I feel depicts the females fragile mind which could indicate she has a mental health disorder.

mental patient girlSo what do you think?

Are the costumes acceptable for Halloween?

Do you think they should have remained on sale?

Would you wear one?

It would be interesting to hear any views on the matter 🙂

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/26/asda-mental-health_n_3993652.html

*images from Google

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Is Curvy The New Size Zero?

Everyday women are exposed to images of tiny women, ‘size zero’ models sparked the thinspiration trend, sufferers of this are rejecting their natural body shape to try to achieve the fragile appearance of super models with thigh gaps, as stated in a previous blog, the eating disorder charity B-Eat have stated that if someone has a thigh gap then their body is not yet adult….

Kate MossStriving for the super skinny look is both physically and mentally challenging on the body, individuals can be made to feel guilty if they indulge in meals being told that they’ll become fat or that they are fat for enjoying food, but why should someone be told not to like their body for what it is. An extreme of gaining an eating disorder from the goal of reaching size zero can lead to a body dysmorphic disorder where the sufferer will spent large amounts of time worrying about their appearance and will often see negative points which may not even be physically there, the image below demonstrates an example.

bodyimageModels like Kelly Brook and Kate Upton embrace their size 12 bodies and don’t strive for the unhealthy overly skinny look which comes with the negative effects of eating disorders, fragile appearances and in some cases bones sticking out of the body. 

Kelly Brook herself has this to say:

“A real woman should have curves. It’s sad that so many young, impressionable  girls are faced with images of seriously thin models and think this is the  way  they should look. 

Having an hourglass figure, boobs and bum is all part of being a woman. Size zero is over. Lots of girls say they admire my figure and, to me, that’s the most important thing.

Young women should have role models who aren’t constantly on diets and  brainwashed about fitting into tiny clothes. I dress to accentuate my  curves,  like Marilyn Monroe did. She oozed glamour with her shapely  silhouette.”

Females should be comfortable with their body shapes and accentuate what they have rather than trying to lose it to an unhealthy body weight craze. H&M openly admitted that they want to get away from the image of unhealthy models and use ‘real’ women in their fashion campaigns to promote a healthy body image, recent models have included Beyoncé and Jennie Runk a size 12 model from the USA.

Jennie RunkIt shouldn’t matter if you have a natural curve to your body, embrace yourself and don’t let anybody put you down over your size, thinspiration isn’t a good trend to follow and more should be done to stop images of ‘encouragement’ being openly posted on social networking sites. 

Move over size zero your time is coming to an end…..

Kate Uptonhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2333000/H-M-admits-models-skinny-embraces-bombshell-curves-Beyonc-plus-size-beauty-Jennie-Runk.html

*images from Google

Thigh Gap: Psychological Trap

thinspoA new dangerous trend amongst teenagers is starting to occur, it’s called the thigh gap and has been inspired by catwalk models and celebrities such as Amanda Bynes (She’s the man, Easy A) this new trend involves losing so much weight that your thighs don’t touch leaving this desired gap. I state teenagers as the audience as teenagers are highly influenced by the media and they are at the age most likely to develop an eating disorder.

What’s most worrying about this trend is that it is glamorising eating disorders and weight obsession. Individuals wanting this desired look are spreading the trend through Tumblr and Instagram, they share images of their progress and images of thinspiration and what they strive to achieve. What seems to be shown less often is the negative effects of an eating disorder, due to the celebrity culture thin is the only way in. If there were less pressures in the media to be so slim then individuals may start to accept their selves no matter what their shape or size may be. Instead they truly believe that in order to be ‘perfect’ or beautiful they must suffer until they have tiny waists and a thigh gap, this will just lead to health problems until they begin to recover.

I believe that the pressure to be perfect will continue and more and more people will suffer from an eating disorder whether they suffer from one naturally or choose to do so to follow these mad trends. A lot of people will call their selves fat and others around them when they aren’t at all, besides what is wrong with being curvy? It shouldn’t be frowned upon or even alienated.

Body pressure isn’t likely to die down until the media changes it’s approach to it, social media makes is so accessible to spread the word of thinspiration and inspire others to not give up until they achieve the fragile state. It also allows others to potentially bully those that are considered to be fat when they most likely aren’t.

What should be approached more is the negative affects of anorexia, bulimia and eating disorders, it should be educated more in schools, colleges and university. Magazines and television adverts should promote charities and support outlets to help individuals beat their problems, otherwise it could lead eating disorders being developed at a faster pace and at younger ages.

thigh gap

*images from Google

Thinspiration: Tragic Trending

Thinspiration is becoming even more accessible through the media to ‘inspire’ those with an eating disorder to achieve the perfect skinny look which is being perceived with celebrity culture. Even more worrying is that through the internet girls all over the world can access these images through sites such as Tumblr and Instagram by simply hashtaging key words such as ‘thinspo’ ‘eatingdisorder’ and ‘thinspiration’. Shouldn’t the sites take more control over their content? What right do the publishers have to try and influence such a dangerous disorder, even more tragic is that Kate Moss supposedly a ‘role model’ posed for an image quoted ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ she should have known the dangers of this message, of course being a model the norm is to be quite slim but she shouldn’t be putting the message across to impressionable individuals.

ThinspirationAnorexia also looks like it is becoming a life choice rather than a diagnosed disorder, bloggers and members of Instagram have openly admitted that they are beginning their ‘journey’, anorexia is not a journey it is a serious problem. A lot of the girls that I saw stating this or already had eating disorders were only young teenagers yet to fully develop, they should be embracing life not counting calories and getting caught up in such a dangerous disorder. Not only is anorexia becoming so dangerously popular it is also leading to other problems such as self harm and suicidal intentions, having your bones stick out your body and match stick legs wont make you happy, weight loss becomes a dangerous cycle.

Unhealthy Publicity
Unhealthy Publicity

Unhealthy Publicity

It should not be glamorised through the media as being something girls should aspire to do, shocking images of negativity are used to make it look like that if you eat then you are or will become fat, it is a serious problem that should be educated more, you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if you eat or are trying to get over an eating disorder. Although celebrities perceive a slim image and are publically slated if they gain weight it doesn’t mean that everybody should feel that way. ‘We live in a cultural Disneyland, where everything is parody and nothing is better or worse’ – Jean Baudrillard

Everybody is different, we all have different body shapes and unique styles, we shouldn’t push to look the same as everybody else especially when it has dangerous consequences, embrace your life and let go of the anorexia demons, losing weight to have a skeletal figure will not make you beautiful it will just make you miserable.

The right support is out there to fight your disorder and gain back your health and your life, images and websites for thinspiration isn’t the right way to go, it wont make you feel any better, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family, getting better wont be easy but small steps at a time will help you achieve your goal.

 http://www.b-eat.co.uk/http://www.samaritans.org/

*images sourced from Google