words by Kai Collado-Vazquez
Today, Forever 21 is under fire for allegedly including diet bars in plus size orders. Several customers are tweeting pictures of their shipments including free weight loss Atkins bars. Many are wondering if these bars are included in orders of other sizes, and not exclusively plus size. Even if Forever 21 had good intentions, a weight loss brand partnering with a clothing brand can cause unintentional fat shaming and reinforces the beauty standard that skinny is better. Customers are enraged and don’t support Forever 21 telling them to be skinnier by giving them diet bars.
However, some customers of smaller sizes seem to also be getting these free diet bars, so people are wondering if these bars are sent to everyone or are meant to fat shame.
Forever 21 issued a statement saying “The freebie items in question were included in all online orders, across all size categories, for a limited time and have since been removed.”
There is debate on whether to accept their apology or not, some saying that they like receiving free food and people are too sensitive. Others claim their apology doesn’t change the fact that they sent diet bars. Forever 21 states that it was an oversight on their part and they had no intentions of offending customers. But, how did it go over their head that diet bars could offend people? Imagine being plus sized and randomly getting a diet bar after buying clothes.
Forever 21 does send free things in orders and sometimes they are food related. Last time I ordered, I got a coupon for HelloFresh, but why would they send diet bars with clothes? Forever 21 also runs small and customers who aren’t usually plus size have to buy plus sizes in order to fit into their clothes. So sending something that is meant to make you skinnier goes with their concept, which can be offensive. Maybe next time they will be more careful of what they include in their orders.