Forever 21, which just got done with angry journalists targeting the company for selling bike shorts labeled “fake news,” now has a new problem: irate customers offended because they felt the retail company sent diet bars to customers who had ordered plus-size clothing.
The company sent Atkins low-carbohydrate lemon bars with the plus-size orders, according to The Daily Mail. But after outrage was triggered from the packages, Forever 21 issued this apology, which clarified the issue:
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.
Some of the outrage on social media sounded like this:
The sensitivity to fat-shaming has risen in recent years; only the day before the outrage directed at Forever 21, Macy’s was targeted by angry customers after a Los Angeles woman visiting New York saw a Macy’s display featuring novelty plates that measured food portions with concentric circles labeled “skinny jeans,” “favorite jeans” and “mom jeans.” She tweeted angrily, “How can I get these plates from @Macys banned in all 50 states.” Four hours later, the chain said it would remove the plates and apologized, stating, “We apologize to our customers for missing the mark on this product. After reviewing the complaint, we quickly removed the plates, which were only in our STORY at Macy’s location in Herald Square,” as The Washington Post reported.
Mary Cassidy, president of Pourtions, which produced the plates, stated, “As the creators of Pourtions, we feel badly if what was meant to be a lighthearted take on the important issue of portion control was hurtful to anyone. Everyone who has appreciated Pourtions knows that it can be tough sometimes to be as mindful and moderate in our eating and drinking as we’d like, but that a gentle reminder can make a difference. That was all we ever meant to encourage.”
In 2016, The New York Times wrote, “The effects of a lifetime of shame and stigma can be profound. Fat people are more prone to anxiety and depression, and weight shaming can set off rounds of binge eating and avoidance of exercise because of embarrassment at how they look exercising and wearing workout clothes.
An article in Psychology Today in 2015 also posited that fat-shaming was destructive, arguing: “All the evidence from decades of research has demonstrated that obesity is not a choice. It is a complex socioeconomic, psychological and physiological phenomenon. We can all do things to influence our body weight, but the most important thing is to make sure that we are happy with whatever our healthy body looks like.”
Yet there are issues with those who ignore the dangers of being overweight; as The Boston Globe pointed out in 2013, an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine pointed out that a 2012 study that opined many obese people are “metabolically healthy” excluded evidence of bad health and premature mortality.