Several Forever 21 customers have taken to social media to share their outrage over an unexpected bonus item that arrived with their recent online orders. The item in question? Diet bars from the weight loss brand Atkins. The retail giant reportedly distributed the bars as part of an ongoing promotion, but several plus-size shoppers pointed out the less-than-ideal optics of that particular marketing decision.
One person called out the brand directly on Twitter: “Hey @forever21 do you include weight loss Atkin bars in all your shipments or just in the ones for ladies over 1X?”
FOREVER21 SHOULDNT BE SENDING DIET BARS TO LITERALLY ANYONE. my problem was not if it was only plus size (by the look of their stores I figured their business is not smart enough to target just one demographic)my problem is why are you pushing a diet bar on your customers AT ALL. https://t.co/CJIved0SWV— Jazzmyne Robbins (@jazzmynejay) July 24, 2019
Apparently @Forever21 sends out Atkins bars with all of its orders, which sends a wildly dangerous message to ALL of its customers. Not only is it fatshaming, it could also trigger people of all sizes who have EDs. This is as dangerous as it is inappropriate. https://t.co/gPfr3jMUK4— Samantha Puc ?✨ (@theverbalthing) July 23, 2019
“Apparently @Forever21 sends out Atkins bars with all of its orders, which sends a wildly dangerous message to ALL of its customers,” Samantha Puc, an editor and writer, said on Twitter. “Not only is it fat shaming, it could also trigger people of all sizes who have [eating disorders]. This is as dangerous as it is inappropriate.”
The fast fashion retailer responded with a statement to Refinery29 about the controversy.
“From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders,” the brand explained. “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.”