When you're overweight, taller or shorter than average or otherwise physically different from the vast majority of folks, shopping for clothing sucks. Speaking from past experience, there's something dreadful about walking into a mall and knowing that only a handful of stores will carry clothes that not only fit, but flatter your body type. Even worse is sadness that passes through you in a change room when, having thought you'd found a pair of pants that should fit you, you discover that your size is not, according to the brand you're trying, is not your size. I don't dig shopping online—as much as I hate going out to shop, I hate having to repack something I bought and dislike to hand over the to the post office, even more. But I get it: it's convenient and, if you have any anxiety over walking into a crowded mall or don't feel comfortable with your body, being able to get stuff shipped to you might just feel better.
Until bullshit like this goes down.
Forever 21's online customers have begun opening the packages that land on their doorstep to find the clothing they ordered—and a diet bar that they most certainly did not. The fast-fashion retailer has started sending sample Atkins lemon bars, which proudly advertise three grams of carbs, along with online orders. It isn't clear just which orders receive this unsolicited weight loss nudge, but judging from a growing number of complaints on social media, most of the impacted customers appear to have ordered from the company's plus-size collections.
Of course, Atkins-branded products are an offshoot of the low-carb diet craze that took off in the early 2000s. The company advertises its bars as a way to "stick with your low carb diet." Its new line of lemon bars, which are included in Forever 21 packages, are part of Atkins' snack collection, which is specifically marketed as a way to "treat yourself without worrying about your carb count." So, to be utterly clear, while they are labeled as a "snack," they are diet bars.
So, that's vile.
For their part, Forever 21 says that it's totally cool to "surprise" their customers with free stuff tucked into their orders. They went on to mention that they stuff extras into all of their deliveries. However, the hubub on Twitter would suggest that the Atkins bars only found their way into plus-sized clothing orders. That could be true. It might also be that you wouldn't get upset about diet food being jammed in with a new blouse unless you've already got body image issues.
Since the internet lost their minds on the Forever 21, they've stopped sending the Atkins bars out. Maybe the clothier's sincere about this. But in a world where people are already torn apart for things in their life that they often have no control over, more thought should have been put into what goes into a Forever 21 package and what someone might get out of it.
Image via Amazon