This is just unfortunate. I don’t believe for a second JC Penney intended to name their new clothing line anorexia nervosa, but it seems that’s what happened anyway.
Whilst flipping through the Sunday circulars, reader Thomas B. was surprised to see JC Penney’s new clothing line called, “a.n.a. : A New Approach.”
A worker in the mental health field for several years, he was reminded of another meaning for “ana,” that it’s a slang term for anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by not eating to the point of extreme weight loss and malnutrition, amongst some anorexia or “pro-ana” communities. As a proper name, “Ana” serves as a sort of anorexic avatar or imaginary anthropomorphization amongst anorexia groups.