When Natalie Hage was the victim of body shaming, not only did she stand up for herself — but she documented the entire interaction, blasted it out on social media, and exposed the “bulls*** fat people go through just for existing.”
On a recent flight to Los Angeles, Calif., Hage, who’s a plus-size model and influencer, noticed the person sitting next to her texting fat jokes.
Taking to social media, Hage shared photos and video and also recounted how she saw the man write, “I think she ate a Mexican,” and send it to a friend.
i'm shaking right now. i'm on a flight to LA right now on @americanair. i paid almost $70 extra for this seat i'm in because i know i need a little extra leg room. i'm extremely flight anxious but there were only middle seats available so i had to take what i could get. as soon as i sat down, the gentleman on my left began LOUDLY huffing, sighing, and readjusting himself in his seat. i see him furiously texting and then purposefully turning the phone away from me. so, naturally next time he texts, i take a look. the texts were about me and i'm almost positive he took photos of me. not only were the texts about me, but they were really mean and ugly, with even the recipient named 'linda' chiming back with shaming retorts…someone who can't even see the situation. if you can't read the texts, it says 'hopefully she didn't have any mexican food' and his response is 'i think she ate a mexican'. then he proceeds to say he's leaving a 'neck mark on the window' because he's so smashed against the wall. from the photos, you can see i'm not in his space. he's even taken over both arm rests on purpose, coming to my space and digging his elbows into my side…which is in my seat. his next text to her was 'if the news reports a DFW airbus a321 leaving the runway without rotating, that would be my flight.' another i see later? 'if these seats don't hold, it's not going to matter.' and that's just a few of them. there were several more. i didn't do anything to him. i'm in my seat, completely (see photos). i am crumpled into a ball trying to not bother. i'm just so upset. i asked the other man to my right if he'd switch me and told him what the man was saying about me and he said laughed and refused. that's fine, it's not his issue. this is a fat person's daily reality and not just on a plane. this is on a bus, standing in line at the grocery store, at a concert, on the internet. you can be completely in your own space, not bothering anyone, and people will still fuck with you and try to hurt you. all you can do is know you haven't done anything wrong just by existing and to move on. this just makes me a mixture of enraged and super sad.
A post shared by natalie. (@nataliemeansnice) on Jun 29, 2017 at 9:55am PDT
“I paid almost $70 extra for this seat I’m in because I know I need a little extra leg room,” she wrote. “As I sat down, the gentleman on my left began LOUDLY huffing, sighing, and readjusting himself in his seat. I see him furiously texting and then purposefully turning the phone away from me. So, naturally, next time he texts, I take a look.”
Hage detailed how the “really mean and ugly” messages were about her and she’s “almost positive” that he took photos of her as well. She also admitted that it seemed as if the man was trying to make her flight as uncomfortable as possible. “[He was] coming into my space and digging his elbows into my side, which is in my seat … I didn’t do anything to him. I’m in my seat, completely (see photos). I am crumpled into a ball trying to not bother,” she said.
However at the end of the flight it all became too much, so Hage decided to confront the man, filming herself talking to the passenger. “Hi, my name is Natalie. I couldn’t help but notice before we took off you were sending really horrible text messages about me,” she was heard politely saying in the video. “No, I wasn’t,” he replied to her. “I have photos, yes, you were,” she told him.
The man can then be heard apologizing for his actions, saying he “was drinking” before reverting back to his offensive behavior.
“Did you notice that I was nice to you in the air? I put my thing up for you, I gave you part of my table,” he said. “In fairness, you probably shouldn’t be sitting in an exit row seat. When they ask if you’re willing and capable to assist people in getting off the airplane in an emergency, do you honestly think you are?”
Hage goes on to ask, “You know nothing about me from the size of my body… making a quip like that after you’ve apologized makes you an extra a******… are you a doctor?”
“That’s none of your business,” the man, clearly caught out adds.
“My body is also none of your business. Don’t ever treat somebody like that again,” Hage says before getting up and leaving.
After the story went viral, she thanked her new followers and supporters whom have shared comments of congratulations for sticking up for herself.
❤️EDIT: THE VIDEO NOW HAS OVER A MILLION VIEWS ON FACEBOOK!!! HOLY COW!!!! THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT! ❤️i wanted to say hello to everyone new joining my neck of the woods. thank you so so so much for the messages and comments overflowing with kindness. my heart is full. i didn't want to leave y'all hanging – i actually ended up saying something to him when we landed. i couldn't NOT speak up. i'm so tired of fat people being a social punching bag. i won't stand for it. i hope this dude learned something today.
A post shared by natalie. (@nataliemeansnice) on Jun 29, 2017 at 9:20pm PDT
She also noted that she confronted the man when the plane landed yet again. “i couldn’t NOT speak up,” she wrote. “i’m so tired of fat people being a social punching bag. i won’t stand for it. i hope this dude learned something today.”
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