For years, plus-sized people have been waiting for their favourite brands to become more inclusive regarding clothing sizes. Thankfully, times are changing and popular brands like Forever 21, Zara, H&M, etc. have included a ‘plus-size’ section for their clothing line. Just recently, Nike was praised for installing curvier mannequins to support body diversity. However, Forever 21, despite having a plus-size range, have fallen into trouble.
Customers of Forever 21 have been calling out the brand for delivering diet bars along with orders containing plus-sized clothing.
According to sources, several customers took to Twitter to post pictures of their order coming along with an Atkins diet bar, asking whether the freebie comes with ordering clothes above a certain size. The brand has been facing severe backlash for fat-shaming ever since.
— jesse (@jessemarisaelao) July 19, 2019
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? pic.twitter.com/ds8kUTs7T7
— MissGG🏳️🌈♿️♒️☯️☮️💟 (@MissGirlGames) July 19, 2019
If this is indeed a brand partnership between you @Forever21 + Atkins I’d strongly suggest you reevaluate it Not only is it coming off as discriminatory but it isn’t even rolled out well – Its completely catching customers off guard with distasteful implied message to lose weight
— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) July 23, 2019
Forever 21 is sending diet bars with clothes you order and that’s so insensitive holy crap like…. how about we don’t make someone negatively reflect on their body image when trying to just order some new outfits ? ????
— taylor nicole dean (@taylorndean) July 23, 2019
— Whitney Catalano (@Whitneycatalano) July 23, 2019
Having been massively slammed online, Forever 21 in a statement clarified how they are in collaboration with the diet-bar brand, and the freebies are “free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders”.
Apologising to their customers who have taken offence, a brand spokesperson said, “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”.
When dealing with a sensitive issue like body positivity and inclusiveness, brands should be more mindful about the kind of freebies they are gifting their customers. Gifting diet-bars with plus-sized clothing really sets out a contradictory message.