Forever 21 is being called out for putting diet bars in plus-size clothing packages
24 July 2019, 12:27 | Updated: 24 July 2019, 13:34
"Not only is it fatshaming, it could also trigger people of all sizes who have EDs. This is as dangerous as it is inappropriate."
Forever 21 is receiving a lot of backlash for putting diet bars in their plus-size online clothing orders… just why? Customers complained after receiving an Atkins diet bar, which is used alongside the popular Atkins programme that advocates an extremely low-carb diet.
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Atkins has been criticised in the past for not promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The diet gained a huge amount of popularity in the early 00s but there's actually no evidence to suggest that it will provide sustained weight loss. Studies have actually suggested that low-carb diets can increase risks for cancer, stroke and heart disease, especially in women.
People noted how triggering and dangerous it is to include the diet bars, especially for people with body image issues and eating disorders. Although it's clearly a brand partnership, the message Forever 21 is sending is that their customers need to lose weight.
Several plus-size customers criticised the brand on Twitter following the discovery of the bars in their packages and accused the brand of being "fatphobic".
Forever 21 after they stuff packages with diet bars pic.twitter.com/8eQNFdRuIG— Joshua Chenault (@joshuachenault1) July 23, 2019
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 went from a size 24 to 18, still a plus size girl, so I ordered jeans from @Forever21 Opened the package, when I looked inside I see this Atkins bar. What are you trying to Tell me Forever 21, I’m FAT, LOSE WEIGHT? do you give these to NON-PLUS SIZE WOMEN as well? pic.twitter.com/ds8kUTs7T7— MissGG🏳️🌈 (@MissGirlGames) July 19, 2019
Forever 21 is a garbage company, and their PR team can choke pic.twitter.com/Uq9v6JX7bV— rach (@raachbae) July 23, 2019
However, some shoppers discovered that it wasn't only plus-size customers getting the bars.
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
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
Forever 21 has since responded to the backlash in a statement.
"From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders," a spokesperson told Jezebel. "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."