Amazon is facing criticism for selling a hoodie that appears to promote and downplay the seriousness of anorexia, describing the disease as "like bulimia, except with self control".
Anorexia sufferer Beth Grant called the hoodie "absolutely disgraceful", telling the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that it could be extremely harmful to anyone with anorexia or bulimia. "I think it could damage their mental health even further and cause them to potentially harm their life," she added.
Critics have also left damning one-star reviews on the hoodie's Amazon page. "Are you f'ing kidding me???? My son died from anorexia. This is not funny," wrote one user, while another said such messages "[damage] the lives of the most susceptible members of our society. Making a profit by marketing eating disorders is pure evil."
Another user powerfully highlighted the manufacturer's basic misunderstanding of the eating disorder: "Anorexia isn’t a choice, and it has nothing to do with self control. When you have anorexia, you have zero control... No one who understands the first thing about anorexia would want it or wish it on their worst enemy. Selling this is completely irresponsible."
Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity, tweeted to criticise the hoodie, saying that downplaying the seriousness of eating disorders stops sufferers from seeking help.
Meanwhile, many others, including eating disorder sufferers, also slammed the hoodie on social media.
Amazon has a history of selling clothes on its platform that trivialise mental illnesses, as many critics were quick to point out on Twitter. Along with numerous other items seeming to promote anorexia, the slogan on one T-shirt using the keyword 'schizophrenia' read: "It wasn't my fault the voices told me to do it!"
Amazon hasn't commented on the controversy.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, please call Beat on 0808 801 0677. Support and information is available 365 days a year.