Plus-Size Model Confronts Fat-Shamer on Plane | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Plus-Size Model Confronts Fat-Shamer on Plane

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    Plus-Size Model Confronts Fat-Shamer on Plane

    A Dallas-based plus-size model and student who promotes body positivity has used her social media platform to share how she fought back against a body-shamer while on a flight.

    Natalie Hage, 30, said the hurtful ordeal happened on a recent American Airlines flight to Los Angeles when she only had a middle seat available to her. She had paid extra for a seat with greater leg room.

    The man seated next to her "began LOUDLY huffing, sighing, and readjusting himself in his seat," she wrote on Instagram. "I see him furiously texting and then purposefully turning the phone away from me."

     

    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


    Hage said she noticed that the man was texting derogatory comments about her like "I think she ate a Mexican." He also wrote that he was leaving "a neck mark against the window" even though Hage was not "in his space."

    "The whole flight, I wanted to disappear," she told NBC's "Today" show.

    Hage captured photos of the man's texts and at the end of the flight recorded a video that shows her calmly but pointedly challenging him about his behavior.

    "If I didn’t say something, I’d regret it forever," she later explained to "Today." "I’d be a hypocrite."


    The man at first denied his actions then later apologized several times. Yet at one point he questioned whether she should be sitting in an emergency exit row.

    In her video, Hage explains that she works out five times a week. She emphasizes that the man knows nothing about her.

    "Out of the cool opportunity to get to know people in this world, you miss out on the chance to connect with another person because you decided to judge them instead," Hage told "Today."