Have you recently ordered something from Forever 21? If you have, you may have also received an Atkins product, a low-carb bar that promotes weight loss. Shoppers aren’t too happy about it and Forever 21 might be the latest brand to suffer from “cancel culture.”
Here’s how it all went down: On July 19, a tweet by a plus-size shopper went viral. In it she wrote, “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?”
Other tweets followed stating that they’ve also received diet bars in their Forever 21 packages. One customer shared, “My mom ordered some clothes from @Forever21‘s plus size collection and they sent a Atkins diet bar along with the stuff she ordered.” While the bars are insensitive, we can’t help but wonder: Were there no other freebies that could’ve been sent instead? This issue is bigger than a bar; it’s the message that’s being sent to shoppers.
A Forever 21 rep told Teen Vogue, “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."
Some tweets did in fact show that the retailer didn’t just send the Atkin bars to plus-size shoppers. One shopper said, “I just bought a bunch of xs/s clothes and I got one too, I don’t think it’s anything personal.” Critics say the issue stems beyond just sending a diet bar to one type of body though and that it’s quite alarming and sends the wrong message to anyone.
Another twitter user said, “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 bars have been pulled, so if you’re placing a last-minute weekend order on the fast-fashion site you shouldn’t have to worry about welcoming a diet bar in addition to your bodycon dress or crop top.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue