Natalie Hage is proud of her body.
She is a plus size model, who devotes much of her working life to promoting the positivity of body confidence whatever a person's size.
On a recent flight, she ended up sitting in a middle seat next to a man who nastily body-shamed her.
He believed he was doing it subtly, when in fact, he wasn't.
The mean text messages he was sending to a friend just before take-off, in which he joked about Natalie having 'eaten a mexican', were actually quite visible and incredibly hurtful.
Taking a photo of the text messages, Natalie posted the pictures to Instagram along with a caption explaining what happened.
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.
Natalie wrote that after having paid almost $70 extra for a seat with more leg room on a flight to LA, she sat down only to be welcomed by "the gentleman on my left... LOUDLY huffing, sighing, and readjusting himself in his seat."
He even took up both arm rests on purpose and would dig his elbows into her side.
After enduring the flight next to the man who'd been unnecessarily cruel about her without having exchanged so much as two words, Natalie bravely struck up the courage to ask him why he'd done it when the plane landed.
Uploading the video to Facebook, you can hear Natalie say, "I couldn’t help but notice before we took off you were sending really horrible text messages about me...do you normally make fun of fat people?"
The man claimed he had been drinking and repeatedly said sorry.
Ruining any genuine apology, however, he later asked the model whether she’d be capable of helping people get off the plane in an emergency.
Natalie responded boldly, telling him she works out five times a week.
She says, "My body is none of your business..don’t ever treat anyone like that again."