Transcript for Plus-size model speaks out after confronting body-shamer on a flight
So how would you react if you actually caught somebody in the midst of trying to body-shame you? Plus-size model Natalie Hage says she decided to turn the tables by confronting him directly and then posting it for the world to see. Here's ABC's Diane Macedo. You know nothing about me by the size of my body. Yeah. Reporter: Listen in as plus-size model Natalie Hage confronts the man she says body-shamed her on a recent flight. My body is loss none of your business. So you have no idea what I can or can't do with it. Fair enough. Reporter: The ordeal start when'd Natalie boarded an American airlines plane headed from Dallas to Los Angeles. I sat down, started getting, you know -- I put my stuff away. I noticed immediately that the man to my left at the window was huffing and sighing incredibly loud. Reporter: That's when Natalie says the man took out his cell phone and started sending disparaging text messages. I'm already a very nervous flyer. So I'm overly like observant of what's happening around me. So I look over and he's got his phone plain as day, and without having to like look hard at all I see he's talking about me. Reporter: Allegedly texting jokes about her weight. The person he talked to said it looks -- hopefully she hasn't had any Mexican food. And then he says, well, it looks like she's eaten a whole Mexican. Reporter: Hage started snapping images of the texts and sharing them with her over 100,000 social media followers. Three hours later on the runway at L.A.X. She worked up the courage to confront the man, recording the whole thing. I couldn't help but notice that before we took off you were sending really horrible text messages about me to somebody. I wasn't. I have photos. Yes, you were. I saw the whole thing. I apologize. I was drinking and I apologize. Yeah, just -- you have no idea who you hurt with those kind of things. I apologize. You got me 37 and was drinking and I apologize. Reporter: But that apology quickly turns accusatory. You probably shouldn't be sitting in an exit row seat. When they ask you are you willing and capable to assist people in getting off the airplane in an emergency do you honestly think that you are? Wait a minute, the drunk man is telling me that I'm not capable of helping people? Okay. Reporter: Natalie says while she was open about recording the conversation she purposely did not film the man's face. I didn't want to start any kind of like shame circle. I just did not want this to be about bashing this guy's looks, anything like that. Don't ever treat somebody like that again. You're right. You don't know anything about me. You're absolutely right. Reporter: The video went viral, with over 1.6 million views, and Hage writes on Instagram, "This is a fat person's daily reality and not just on a plane." Hage certainly isn't alone. ??? most recently "Work" singer Rihanna drew fire after these images snapped in New York appeared to show the star's weight gain. A writer for barstool sports posted the blog headline "Is Rihanna going to make being fat the new trend?" The publication later apologized and took down the blog. ??? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger ??? and "Stronger" singer and "American idol" winner Kelly Clarkson was very publicly body shamed in 2015. It is the fabulous Kelly Clarkson. ??? This is my heartbeat song ??? ??? and I'm gonna play it ??? after the birth of her daughter Clarkson debuted her single heartbeat song on the uk show "Graham Norton live." British TV personality Katie Hopkins tweeted in response "What happened to Kelly Clarkson? Did she eat all of her backing singer?" Hopkins later doubled down on her comments on "Entertainment tonight." She needs to get out there with her stroller and do some pushing and get some of that weight off. Reporter: Clarkson responded, saying to "Heat" magazine, "I'm awesome. It doesn't bother me." I feel like I'm on a speedboat. Reporter: And last year comedian Amy Schumer spoke candidly to "Glamour" about being criticized about her weight, saying I have a belly, I have cellulite and I still deserve love. Recently Shonda rhimes, the TV titan behind mega hits like "Scandal" and "Grey's anatomy" -- Every day is like this. Every day there's a crisis. Reporter: Has said she's been treated differently since shedding 150 pounds, writing in her shondaland newsletter, "These days I feel like a chunky spy in a thinner world. Strangers tell fat jokes in front of me, jokes not meant for me but completely for the woman I used to be 150 pounds ago. The woman I could be again one day. The woman I will always be inside. Because being thinner doesn't make you a different person. It just makes you thinner." ABC's show "What would you do" recently explored the topic with "Sports illustrated" swimsuit model Ashley graham. Ashley is watching with me behind the scenes. You guys are going to love her. Reporter: The scenario, a son introduces his plus-sized girlfriend to his parents, and they aren't having it. I see what you mean by big difference. Excuse me? I'm just used to seeing you with girls who are fit. If you saw this woman being shamed simply because of her weight, what would you do? You are a big girl. He's pissed. I'm just going to have to say it. She's fat. Reporter: The other patrons of the restaurant step in when they hear that F word. It's pretty embarrassing. Look at her. Look at you. Get out. I think she's pretty. You are a beautiful young lady. What they did was very out of line. Be yourself. Be who you are. Some confronting the parents. Your son picked a lovely woman. And moved to tears. I hate when people judge people just on their appearance. People have so much personality that like you should get to know them. Reporter: Ashley graham even steps in to play the girlfriend. Mom. Amly. You're huge. You're too big for my son. Reporter: And she gets the same support. You're such a beautiful-looking girl. They didn't even give you a chance. Reporter: After the reveal -- She was crying. I felt so bad for her. How did you do that? I cried because this is a situation I've been in before and it's never okay. We need more women like you guys. Reporter: In Natalie Hage's case she had to stand up for herself. But while she's getting a lot of support online there's also some controversy around her own act of photographing what could be considered private text messages. But she says she's sharing her story to make a difference for all the people who've been in her shoes. Don't ever treat somebody like that again. You're right. I'm receiving probably thousands of messages with people sharing their stories with me. And it's a reality for us. People see you as less of a person because you are more of a person. People lose the fact that you're a human being. Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Diane Macedo in New York.
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