Passenger intervenes when woman bodyshamed by fellow passenger

Posted at 8:14 AM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 08:14:44-04

NASHVILLE, TN (WTVF/CNN) - A woman took to social media to thank a fellow airline passenger for stepping in after she was bodyshamed.

"'Hey babe, I can't believe this. I'm sitting next to a smelly fatty,'" Chase Irwin said the text read. "'Can't even put the arm rest down, I'm going to vomit. I'm stuck by this fatty.'"

In large font, "smelly fatty" was one of the bright texts he could read from a passenger across the aisle on a United flight.

Those words struck Irwin.

"When I saw her crying, It really hit me hard. I actually got really sick to my stomach," he said.

The stranger was describing the woman sitting right next to him. She saw the text, too.

"I'm a girl, and I battle things like that every single day," Savannah Phillips said. "I just started praying for him, and I didn't know what else to do. And I started crying and I couldn't stop."

Phillips prefers to sit by herself because she said she's self-conscious about her weight.

The mother of two never expected someone to stick up for her.

"He tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘I need to talk to you.’ And the guy took his earphones out, and turned around, and Chase said, ‘We're switching seats right now,’" Phillips said.

"He thanked me and said, ‘Can I ask why?’ I said, ‘Absolutely,’ I said, ‘because you're a heartless person and I read your text. And the girl next to you crying, and she also read your text, and you should take into consideration other people's feelings,’" Irwin said.

"And he said, ‘Don't let that get to you,’" Phillips said.

"I looked at her and gave her a hug," Irwin said.

"It meant the world to me. I could not believe it," Phillips said.

The two talked about their families and eventually went their separate ways after the flight.

She thanked Irwin on Facebook and reminded people that words have the power to hurt and uplift.

"I do feel more beautiful today," Phillips said.

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