“I Love Anorexia” T-Shirts Prove It’s Hard To Make Eating Disorders Remotely Funny
I love a meta-commentary as much as the next person, but some things are just tacky — invoking the Nazis while discussing health care reform, for example. T-shirts emblazoned with the words “I love anorexia” also fit the bill. Artist Alexsandro Palombo, who illustrates the blog Humor Chic, also doodles drawings online that depict stylist Rachel Zoe and ex-Spice Girl/designer Victoria Beckham as skeletons. The attempt at meta-commentary provokes a “ha!” — albeit an uncomfortable “ha!” considering neither woman has publicly identified herself as having an eating disorder — because it reminds you, for a brief second, that they seem oblivious to how skeletal and unattractive they actually look.
But even if I personally can see a slogan like “I love anorexia” as meta-commentary, the fact remains that are some extremely sick men and women who are so sick with the disease, or so sick with a distorted body image, that they create “pro-ana” websites where they lionize anorexia sufferers. There truly are some people who love anorexia. It makes me feel icky to laugh at a shirt like this when I know that fact.
I don’t want to just bash the “I love anorexia” doodles and tees found on the Humor Chic blog: I can appreciate how he’s obviously joking when he suggests elsewhere on the blog that fashion icons live off champagne and cocaine, or how they should surround themselves with only gay men so they have an easy excuse for why no man is interested in dating them. He’s clearly trying to skewer the lifestyles of fashion elites, which is why Anna Wintour, Dolce and Gabbana, and Karl Lagerfeld are skewered elsewhere on the site.
But I don’t know what point Palombo’s frankly distasteful drawing of a skeletal Rachel Zoe perched on a toilet bowl serves:
That’s not making commentary. That’s just tacky.
Eating disorders are mental illnesses. Mental illnesses can kill people. You have to tread very, very, very carefully if you use them to make people laugh. These don’t do it for me. If I’m missing some of the humor here, tell me.