Forever 21 blasted as 'fat-phobic' after sending free Atkins bar samples with online orders

Shoppers say Forever 21 is fat-shaming them by including Atkins bars with their orders. (Photo: REUTERS/Mariana Bazo)

Forever 21 has apologized for causing “offense” after being hit with accusations of fat-shaming after several plus-size shoppers say they were sent low-carb Atkins bars alongside clothing they ordered from the fast-fashion retailer online.

Many shoppers have shared photos of the bars, which boast just three grams of carbs apiece, expressing outrage and accusing the mall staple of targeting plus-size customers.

While the inclusion of the Atkins samples was slammed as “fat-phobic” by upset commenters, others insisted that the bars were sent to all online customers, not merely those purchasing plus-size items. In a statement apologizing for the “oversight,” the California-based company has confirmed that the bars went to all shoppers.

“From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders,” Forever 21 said in a statement provided to Shape. “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."

Some shoppers are still upset that the bars were included at all, claiming that the brand was “forcing diet culture down people’s throats” and treating teen shoppers and those with a history of eating disorders irresponsibly.

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