Mom calls out man who fat-shamed her on flight: 'I'm only sorry I couldn't take up more space'

Katie Kiack
Katie Kiacz says a male passenger on a Delta flight mocked her weight. She’s addressed him publicly on Facebook. (Photo: Katie Kiacz via Facebook)

A mother wrote an open letter to a man who fat-shamed her on a plane, hoping that he’ll somehow get the message.

Katie Kiacz published the letter to the anonymous passenger who made snide comments about her body in a text message to a friend on a Tuesday Delta Airlines flight from Orlando to Detroit.

“Dear Man on flight DL1723,

“You referred to me as a ‘2-ton woman.’ You told your friend soon as I boarded and you saw me that it was ‘not good.’ When I confronted you saying ‘I am not two tons but I did just have a baby,’ you sighed and got up to use the bathroom then quietly asked the flight attendant for a different seat.”

“I’m glad there were not any,” she wrote. “I bet you didn’t tell her why you wanted to sit elsewhere, that you said something so heartless and were confronted. You did not apologize. You did not even acknowledge my existence throughout the remainder of the flight. That’s fine. I do not need your validation. So why am I posting? To call you out. Because I do not exist to please you. Because I will take up as much space as I want. Because even when confronted you did not think you were in the wrong, that you did not need to apologize.”

Posted by Katie Kiacz on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

“I’m glad you had to sit next to me the entire two-hour flight, I’m only sorry I couldn’t take up more space.”

“As a woman, I am sick of this s***,” Kiack wrote. “Would he have said that had I been a man? Or had my daughter and husband with me? I don’t know. But women deal with these attitudes and behavior more than men, that I do know. And I. Am. Over. It.”

Kiack hashtagged the airline and the phrase “Call him out.”

“Oh, and this post is public,” she added. “I hope a woman in his life sees this and is able to explain to him why his behavior was inappropriate. Not that I think it’ll make a difference.”

Kiacz’s post was shared 102,000 times and 85,000 people responded to its spirit. A woman posted that she doesn’t fly for fear of being shamed, and Kiack replied, “I will never stop traveling, especially for some guy who isn’t willing to engage and be kind. If you ever want to travel, I will come to you and fly with you. We have nothing to be ashamed of. Our bodies help us accomplish incredible things and that is always worth celebrating.”

The mom was itching to confront the man when the plane landed but he avoided making contact. “He got up so quick to get his luggage and stepped back a seat, and I can’t help but wonder if it was intentional,” she considered. “He certainly did keep his distance from me deplaning…”

When reached for comment by Yahoo Lifestyle, Kiacz said in lieu of interviews, she is promoting the work of a Northwestern University professor who studies female body image. A spokesperson for Delta did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

“The outpouring love and support has been unreal,” Kiacz wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “In that moment, I was shaking with anger, I was overcome by sadness, and for a moment I was ashamed and self-conscious.”

She admitted that seeing the man express his hate made her feel “totally broken” but that “then I remembered who I was, what I do, and how much I have accomplished and still have to accomplish.”

Kiacz wrote, “I think we have all said something unkind at one time or another, and this is just a reminder that we do not know the battles people are fighting and that we just need to be a little kinder to each other.”

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