Instagram gave this model the platform she needed to bring body positivity into the world.
Instagram plus-sized model, Natalie Hage, isn’t afraid to be seen. She models for her followers to show that beauty exists in all body types, bucking the trends made popular by mainstream fashion outlets. But along with the fame and body positivity that her platform offers, she’s no stranger to negativity.
It should have been a flight like any other, but Natalie had a feeling this one would be different…
Natalie was on a flight with American Airlines where she met a man who instantly had negative opinions about her. In her words:
“As soon as I walk on the plane I was met with this person that was just disgusted by the fact that I existed next to him”
Natalie never expected to be looked down upon for no good reason…
Her feelings were proven correct when she noticed that the man was texting a friend while on the plane. She could see the texts which included being blamed for “spilling over into his seat” and taking up his space. The nastiest texts came when his friend said “I hope she hasn’t eaten Mexican” and the man responded, “I think she’s eaten a Mexican.”
She fought back and showed that negativity is still very real
Where many plus-sized men and women might have kept to themselves or requested a seat transfer, Natalie refused and decided to fight back. She took out her phone and posted about the incident and the other passenger on her Instagram to over 100,000 of her followers.
Natalie refused to take the insults lying down
The post was intended to showcase how prevalent body negativity is, even in today’s more inclusive world. But Natalie didn’t stop there. She wanted to do more than just make a call out post that the man would likely never see. She wanted to directly confront him and show that she wouldn’t take negativity and ‘fat jokes’ lying down.
The confrontation leads to a lie and…
Natalie knew that she didn’t want to create a scene during the flight. So she waited until the end of the flight to speak with the man. When the plane landed, Natalie confronted the man with her camera rolling.
She told him that she saw him making negative texts. The man denied it until Natalie said that she saw the texts and snapped photos to confirm it. The man immediately apologized claiming that he was drunk.
Man offers a weak justification for…
Natalie didn’t accept that excuse and told the passenger that “You don’t know me by the shape of my body.” The man tried to justify his behavior by claiming that Natalie was irresponsible for accepting an exit row seat, since “she couldn’t move fast enough in the case of an emergency.” As you can guess, this didn’t fly by Natalie.
She showed real strength and makes a suggestion that he shouldn’t ignore
The model retorted with the man, explaining that his behavior was disgusting and mean. The man said “you’re right” and apologized. So Natalie summarized her point by suggesting that the man never act so mean-spirited to someone unprovoked ever again.
Why Natalie wanted the world to see what happened
In the video, Natalie was questioned about her feelings about the incident and what prompted the actions she took. She answered by saying that she wants her followers and anyone who sees her story to know that being plus-sized doesn’t have to mean accepting poor behavior. She says it best when she says:
“I want plus-sized people to know that you’re fine and you’re worthy and you don’t deserve to be made to feel terrible about yourself just because you exist”
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