But in this instance, she chose to actually confront the fat shamer once the plane had landed - and film it. It's a good reminder that you can't judge people based on the way they look - weight is far from the only indicator of health, and he'd have done well to keep his thoughts (and his text messages) to himself.
Ms Hage, who lives in Dallas and has been widely applauded for sharing the clip on social media, told the man she worked out about five times a week. From the photos, you can see i'm not in his space'.
Natalie Hage posted an account of her ordeal on Instagram, stating that as soon as she sat down, the gentleman to her left began "loudly huffing, sighing and readjusting himself in his seat".
Natalie purposely booked herself extra legroom only to be confronted by a huffing and puffing neighbouring passenger who immediately whipped out his phone and began furiously texting a "Linda", slamming her size.
"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", she said.
"[The recipient] 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".
Hage told ABC News that she felt uncomfortable during the entire flight, and when she landed she made a decision to call out the man for his actions.
"This is a fat person's daily reality and not just on a plane", Hage wrote about the incident.
According to Refinery29, Natalie later confronted the man who apologised and said he was drinking, but added: "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?".
In a follow-up to her initial Instagram post, Hage wrote that she chose to call man out to show people that "you don't deserve to be made to feel insignificant and that you have more of a voice than you realize".
Hage says all a person can do in that situation is "know you haven't done anything wrong just by existing". "This just makes me a mixture of enraged and super sad".
But as Hage thought about the message she spreads online, "I knew I needed to practice what I preach", she explained. Then the man asked her out to dinner for the trouble. "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".