Forever 21, American fashion store known for its low prices and hip clothing, came under fire this week when customers noticed that the company was sending dieting bars with plus-sized orders.
The controversy started on social media, when customers began posting images of their orders with the Atkins low-calorie dieting bars in the packaging. It is not clear who all has been effected by the decision, but it seems that the bars have been sent out primarily to customers with orders from the plus-sized selection.
For customers both big and small who have had a history of suffering from eating disorders, the reception of the bars with their purchases may serve as a trigger, leading to a dangerous feedback loop causing legitimate bodily harm. Though the Atkins bars are not explicitly marketed as dieting bars, that is their function in common understanding.
Forever 21 responded to the controversy, stating that, “From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders. The freebie items in question were included in all online orders, across all sizes and categories, for a limited time and have since been removed. This was an oversight on our part and we sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused to our customers, as this was not our intention in any way.”
Read the tweets below to see what customers had to say about the whole thing.
If this is indeed a brand partnership between you @Forever21 + Atkins I’d strongly suggest you reevaluate it Not only is it coming off as discriminatory but it isn’t even rolled out well – Its completely catching customers off guard with distasteful implied message to lose weight— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) July 23, 2019
Forever 21 is sending diet bars with clothes you order and that’s so insensitive holy crap like…. how about we don’t make someone negatively reflect on their body image when trying to just order some new outfits ? ????— taylor nicole dean (@taylorndean) July 23, 2019
i just bought a bunch of xs/s clothes and got one too, i don't think its anything personal..— kec 🦋 (@stxrkid) July 23, 2019
Is the fashion store’s decision to send out the Atkins bars a benevolent offer of free products or a dangerous example of fat-shaming? Let us know in the comments below!