Natalie Hage, 30, said that during an American Airlines flight in which she sat in a middle seat, a man sitting beside her sent rude texts about her to an unknown recipient. The texts focused on Hage’s weight.
Hage said when she sat down in her seat she saw the man “furiously texting and then purposefully turning the phone away” from her.
“So, naturally, next time he texts, I take a look,” she wrote on Instagram. “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.”
“Hopefully she didn't have any Mexican food,” Hage said she saw in a received message on the man’s phone. “I think she ate a Mexican,” he responded.
“Then he proceeds to say he’s leaving a ‘neck mark on the window’ because he’s so smashed against the wall,” Hage wrote in a post.
“The whole three hours to LAX I’m sitting there no arm rest, feet under me, crossed arms, making myself as small as I possibly could because ... at first I was so humiliated,” she told ABC News in an interview. “And then about halfway through the flight is when I started to get really angry.”
“This is a fat person’s daily reality and not just on a plane,” Hage wrote on Instagram, where she has more than 100,000 followers. “You can be completely in your own space, not bothering anyone, and people will still ... try and hurt you.”
“I’ve had a lifetime of experiences of people getting away with treating me terribly, and this time was enough,” Hage told ABC News. “I spent years and years building a social media platform based on body positivity. It doesn't matter how or why you might be overweight or you might be fat, but you still deserve to be treated like a human being.”