You can file this one under terrible marketing ideas. Clothing brand Forever 21 is facing some serious online backlash after they allegedly shipped Atkins diet bars with to their plus-sized clients with their orders. Twitter users started posting the shocking discoveries and they quickly gained traction.
"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," wrote MissGG. "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?"
"Forever 21 really put a fucking diet bar in with my plus size clothing order...I f*****g can’t," wrote user Kat Ravioli.
"YES shame on me for ordering from @Forever21 but why do they have to push diet push diet food on me?? It came with an Atkins bar??" wrote user Chloseph.
"Thanks @Forever 21 I have received my order of 5 items from the plus section.....oh and this #atkins bar that slipped in there. I don't take kindly to people telling me how to live my life. Oh, and when you were packing the diet bar, you forgot to put my actual invoice!!!" wrote user Gigi.
"my mom ordered some clothes from @Forever21 ‘s plus size collection and they sent a Atkins diet bar along with the stuff she ordered" user Jesse said.
There was a huge uproar about the decision from the store, with one person even saying Forever 21 is fatphobic.
"I’m tired of diet culture and fatphobia, I’m tired of people thinking this is okay," wrote Instagram user @mermaidqueenjude. "I’m tired. It is so dangerous to body shame and suggest that someone eat less or go on a diet, you don’t know their history with food. As someone recovering from an [eating disorder], this would’ve set me back so far."
However, despite the backlash, Forever 21 is defending their shipment of the bars, saying they actually went to ALL customers, not just those who ordered plus-size clothing.
"From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders," the company said in a statement. "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."
That claim was substantiated by other users on Twitter.
"i just bought a bunch of xs/s clothes and got one too, i don't think its anything personal.." said user Kec.
"So I opened my @forever21 package the other day and had mentioned to my coworker how strange it was that it had an Atkins bar inside as a sample," user Christine wrote. "It was so insensitive. My order wasn’t plus size, but I think they could definitely do better. Shame."
"I ordered a medium sized two piece set and a small tank top and still got the Atkins bar," Tayah Wakaan Fest said.
Regardless of whether or not the bars were sent to only plus-size consumers, it's a dangerous message to be sending to shoppers, especially when most people who shop there are young and impressionable.