An Italian artist is coming under fire for a line of T-shirts that appears to poke fun at anorexia.
Alexsandro Palombo is well known for drawing pictures of very thin celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, depicting them as skeletons. But now some say he is crossing the line with his shirts.
The shirts say "I Heart Anorexia" and feature a skeleton-thin woman.
"Want to become a perfect Skeleton fashion victim but you don't know how?," he wrote on his blog Humor Chic. "Every day just eat a nice apple for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make sure it's always a glamorous red one, it gives the idea of substance. Don't drink water, an apple contains enough liquid. Replace it with champagne and lots of coke."
Palombo is poking fun at the whole idea of perfection, but some say this is not a laughing matter.
"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," Frisky writer Jessica Wakefield wrote. "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. "
But Palombo is firing back at his critics.
"When I'm attacked, I say the more anorexia is treated as a taboo the more young people will go looking for it and fall for it, just because they're attracted to taboos," he told the New York Daily News. "Young people have a spirit of emulation, they mirror themselves in negative stereotypes, the very figures that the magazines and media create and present as examples, as idols. So it's worth showing them for what they are, as monsters,"
Palombo said that despite interest from readers, the "I Heart Anorexia" T-shirts are not for sale online.
"They were fashioned as special pieces of 'T-sh'art' but a lot of boutiques and distributors have asked me for them, from around the world. All this could sound scary but it's clear there's a strong reaction in place, a type of public that's looking for change."