One person called the fashion giant's alleged actions "beyond disgusting."

By Allie Strickler
July 23, 2019
Shutterstock/Odua Images

Forever 21 is known for its trendy, affordable clothing. But this week, the brand is getting serious heat on social media.

Several Twitter users claim Forever 21 is allegedly sending out Atkins bars with online orders.

Dozens have posted photos of their orders to Twitter, which show Atkins lemon bars sitting atop packaged Forever 21 clothing items. Most of the posts come from people who say the bars were included in plus-size orders specifically. However, some claim they've received the food sample with Forever 21 clothes purchased outside of the brand's plus-size collection. (Related: This Plus-Size Blogger Is Urging Fashion Brands to #MakeMySize)

One Twitter user said Forever 21's alleged actions send "a wildly dangerous message to ALL of its customers." She continued, "Not only is it fat shaming, it could also trigger people of all sizes who have EDs. This is as dangerous as it is inappropriate." (Related: The Anti-Diet Movement Is Not an Anti-Health Campaign)

"Yeah uh I will not be shopping at Forever 21," read another tweet. "This is ridiculous. You know some ad person thought this was a fantastic ~targeted campaign. Gross. Gross gross gross. (Also Atkins bars are disgusting so it's like INSULT TO INJURY)"

Another person called the alleged move "fatphobic, insensitive, and harmful to everyone involved." They wrote on Twitter, "Diet culture continues to thrive because of companies like [this] who 'subtly' shove it down people's throats. Please address this."

FWIW, the lemon Atkins bar that some people claim to have received with their Forever 21 orders isn't marketed as a "diet" food. However, Atkins itself is known for the Atkins diet, a "very low carbohydrate eating plan" meant to help people lose weight, according to Mayo Clinic. (Here's the truth about low-carb, high-fat diets.)

Update: A rep for Forever21 responded with an official statement regarding the accusations: "From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce 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."

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