It’s not uncommon for companies to send free samples or test products with online orders. But Forever 21 made an incredibly offensive choice recently by stuffing diet bars into its packages, including those that contained plus-size items. Rightfully, tons of customers were not okay with this.
Several people took to social media to share photos of the packages that had Atkins diet bars inside. “YES shame on me for ordering from @Forever21 but why do they have to push diet food on me?? It came with an Atkins bar??” one person wrote on Twitter.
“From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders,” the brand said in a statement provided to Glamour. “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.”
Jesse Sae Lao Negron, a customer from Oregon, posted an image of the Atkins bar her mother received after she ordered from the company’s plus-size collection. She said in a message to Glamour that her mother was “not outraged” but still surprised and offended to see the bars. “Everyone who ordered from them (recently, I’m assuming) would have received a product they didn’t order,” she told Glamour. “My mother explained to me, ‘Regardless of their intent, Forever 21’s marketing fat-shamed the customers, the clients, me.’ And you know it’s just one example you see on a daily basis of campaigns promoting dieting and being thin.”
Even if the freebies were an oversight, it’s unsettling that a clothing brand is shipping diet bars to any woman, regardless of her size.