Model Natalie Hage was recently minding her own business on a flight when she noticed another passenger sending texts about her to a friend.
The man, sat next to Hage, claimed he was leaving a “neck mark on the window” because Hage was taking up too much room and said she looked like she had eaten “a Mexican”.
Hage, who believes the man also sent photos of her to his friend, took photos of the texts, before confronting the man about his comments.
In a video posted on Facebook, Hage asked the man if he often partakes in fat-shaming, before saying: “My body is none of your business.”
On Instagram, Hage explained that she paid almost $70 (£54) extra for her seat on the plane because she knows she “needs a little extra leg room”.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“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.
“His next text to her was ‘if the news reports a DFW airbus a321 leaving the runway without rotating, that would be my flight’.”
Understandably, Hage felt uncomfortable after reading the man’s texts and asked the passenger on her right if he’d mind switching seats with her.
In response, he simply laughed and refused.
“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,” Hage said.
“All you can do is know you haven’t done anything wrong just by existing and to move on.”
Towards the end of the flight, Hage decided to confront the man about his behaviour.
She filmed the interaction without showing the man’s face, but captioned the video: “You should have seen his ‘holy shit’ face when I called him out.”
Hage told the man she’d noticed him sending “horrible texts” about her.
At first he denied any wrongdoing, but when Hage began quoting him back and said she had photos of the messages, he immediately apologised.
“I’m sorry, I was drinking,” he said.
However, he then went on the question whether Hage was fit enough to sit by the emergency exit.
“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?” he asked.
Once again, Hage called him out for fat-shaming and calmly told him she works out five times a week.
“My body is none of your business...don’t ever treat anyone like that again,” she said.
It seems like the guy (finally) learnt his lesson, because as Hage was leaving the plane, he asked if he could take her for dinner to apologise properly.
Let’s hope he’s truly realised the error of his ways.