The clothing store Forever 21 received an outpouring of hate on social media this week after many Twitter users spoke out after finding Atkins diet bar samples in their online order packages.
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 really put a fucking diet bar in with my plus size clothing order...I fucking can’t. 😡— ✨💖Kat Ravioli💖✨ (@PinkMaggitKat) July 22, 2019
Many of the tweets included photos of the unsolicited lemon flavoured bar. It’s packaging boasted that it contained one gram of sugar and that it the bar suits a “low carb lifestyle.”
Initially the clothing brand was accused of targeting their customers who’d ordered from the brand’s plus-sized collection.
One person who received the diet bar said they’d ordered new jeans from the plus-size collection as they’d gone down from a size 24 to an 18. They were shocked to have received the diet bar with their order.
“What are you trying to Tell me Forever 21?” @MissGirlGames asked in their tweet. “Do you give these to non-plus size women as well?”
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
Not everyone found an issue with the diet bar samples. Some came to the clothing company’s defence and pointed out that they’d received the diet bar with their online orders from Forever 21’s other collections too.
One Twitter user, @TheNailasaurus, replied to @PinkMiggitKat’s angry tweet and said that while they don’t agree with the company soliciting diet bars, they don’t think the outrage was warranted.
“Obviously this brand has paid for this legit form of marketing for their product to go in every F21 order. It has zero to do with what size clothes you ordered,” said @TheNailasaurus.
@PinkMiggitKat responded saying that no matter the intention, the bars shouldn’t have been sent with clothing as it could have a negative effect on people with eating disorders.
Others agreed that the diet bars could have a harmful effect on those who received them.
“[It’s] completely catching customers off guard with [a] distasteful implied message to lose weight,” wrote @bronze_bombSHEL in a tweet.
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
What the hell, @Forever21?? Not only is this incredibly fatphobic, but sending diet bars unsolicited is down right harmful to the customers & could negatively impact anyone with a ED. This is beyond disgusting. Stop forcing diet culture down peoples throats. https://t.co/c9wovKs6w8— Destiny ☕️✍🏼 (@thefatauthor) July 23, 2019
Forever 21 issued a statement later in the week saying that the bars were indeed sent with all orders, not just those form the plus-size collection. The company occasionally sends “free test products” from third party companies to their customers, they wrote in the statement.
Twitter user @bitchenboutique tweeted that the company saying the bars were sent to everyone doesn’t regulate the situation because they feel it sounds like the company is saying everyone needs to lose weight.
The company’s statement went on to say the bars won’t be sent out anymore and that sending them was an “oversight.”
“We sincerely apologize for any offence this may have caused,” they wrote.