Plus-size model Natalie Hage was minding her business in the middle seat of an exit row on a flight to Los Angeles when she noticed the man next to her furiously texting to someone. The messages she could read were heart-breaking; they were all about her size and how “fat” the guy found her.
“I hope she doesn’t have Mexican food,” his friend wrote to him, in full view of the plus-size model.
“I think she ate a Mexican,” the man wrote back to his friend.
The plus-size model explained on Instagram that she paid nearly $70 extra for her seat because she knew she would need a little bit of extra room, but didn’t expect to see the horrible bullying that came along with it.
According to Hage, the texts between her seat mate and someone named Linda on the other end of the phone were sent back and forth rapid fire, even making jokes about how the plane might not be able to take off and the seats may not be able to hold once the plane is in the air due to Hage’s weight.
Hage also said that the man who sat next to her began huffing and puffing loudly when he sat down as if to bring attention to the fact that he was sitting next to her.
there's a LOT more of you following my page than there was a few days ago. to you, i say HI! welcome to my weird little life. with a lot of new people comes a lot more comment traffic and in turn, a LOT of new, hateful people that come to say terrible things on my photos who don't know me as a person in the slightest. they don't know that i started a new job eight months ago and have rocked it since i began and recently got a cool new position because of it. they don't know that i'm a (more than) full time student on top of working full time. they don't know that i have a beautiful boyfriend. they don't know that i have a ton of perfect friends who love me. they don't know that i have an eating disorder. they don't know that i'm a really good singer. they don't know i'm a kind person. they don't know i have PCOS (its genetic and doesn't just affect fat people). they don't know that i'm really good at trivia. they don't know that i'm a good dancer. they don't know that my doctor can't stop praising how healthy i am and is proud of how i take care of my fat body. they don't know anything about me and they don't care. they see my body and assume a billion things about me. concern trolls do not care about my health. they care about my fat. i don't need you to worry about me, i'm doing damn good in life. also, even if i was 'unhealthy', that isn't an invitation for cruelty. if after knowing ALL this about me you just can't help yourself but to be a dick, you can take several seats and watch me continue to kick life's ass.
Natalie Hage is not only a plus-size model but also a social media influencer with over 122,000 Instagram followers. She inspires those who are influenced by her social media to live their lives to the fullest, no matter their weight or physical capabilities. She is also incredibly open about her battle with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which is a contributor to her weight.
Since the plus-size model has many people watching her, she decided not to just take the body shaming and stood up to her aggressor.
In a video that has been shared on Facebook more than 1 million times, Hage asked the man why he behaved the way he did. He wrote off his bad behavior as induced by alcohol, then asked her if she really thought she was capable of helping people out of the airplane in the event of an emergency since they were seated in an exit row.
Although the man laughed at some of his horrible quips, he offered to take her out to dinner for her trouble. She refused.
She told him she hoped he learned something today.
“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 f*** with you and try to hurt you,” she wrote on Instagram.
The full confrontation can be seen below.
[Featured Image by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images]