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Is Forever 21 Fat-Shaming Its Customers? Their Latest “Free Gift” Suggests So

Don’t you just hate it when fashion retailers fail to sit back and think about their customers for just one second? Well, Forever 21 is definitely regretting not taking a step back and evaluating their decisions after the recent backlash it received from its customers over a “free gift” that came with their online purchases.

Finding a strange gift in a clothing parcel

Forever 21 is pretty popular – anyone who wants to buy some cool, fashionable clothes without paying a fortune usually buys from the retailer. They also sell plus-size clothes, but after customers received their latest packages, they were pretty upset. You see, the retailer thought it nice to include a free gift in the package. A free gift in the form of an Atkins diet bar. Yep. That happened.

People were not happy

According to Today, customers were not happy – and understandably so. Many called the “free gift” hurtful and offensive. Of course, people took to social media to complain about the Atkins bar and found that many others felt the same way they did. One Twitter user, Gigi, expressed her unhappiness, saying, “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.”

People expressed their anger on social media

Many shared Gigi’s opinion, and it soon came to light that many people who ordered plus-sized clothing were the ones who found a diet bar included in their order. Other Twitter users started to point this out, and soon social media was ablaze with furious people.

According to CBS News, one customer even pointed out that she had recovered from an eating disorder and that including a diet bar in a clothing shipment is in very poor taste.

The intention might also have been completely innocent

Of course, there are always two sides to a story. Other people pointed out that Forever 21 customers were taking the entire diet bar situation out of context, with one Twitter user posting that he received the same bar when purchasing a new motherboard at a computer parts store.

The company could’ve put more thought into it

So perhaps it’s true and the diet bar company just wanted to promote some of its products. The thing is, it’s probably not wise to include a diet bar with any sort of clothing package. It sends a very clear message – try this to lose some weight! In a world where everyone is trying to just get to a point where they can accept their bodies exactly as it is, this was obviously a bad idea and Forever 21 could’ve put more thought into it.

Forever 21 apologized

Forever 21 responded to the complaints, saying that the bars were included in all packages, not just those containing plus-sized clothing. In a statement to CBS News, the company said that the bars have since been removed from all 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,” the statement read.

Well, all we can hope for is that the company will take more care when it comes to what they give away as a free gift to their customers in the future. If they had really taken a minute to think about it beforehand they could probably have avoided this entire ordeal.

Over to you: What do you think about all this? Were people’s reactions justified or were they overreacting? Drop your thoughts in the comments. 

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  1. Avatar

    emily vardy

    July 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Totally do NOT think this is an overreaction! God knows what’s even in those bars (besides the TERRIBLE diet mindset), so sending them to anyone is questionable. But sending them specifically to plus-size customers? So, SO rude.
    Honestly this makes me think twice about ordering from Forever21 any time in the future.

    1. Marica Laing

      Marica Laing

      July 29, 2019 at 6:02 am

      Agreed! They should’ve put more thought into how their customers would perceive it.

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