It’s hard to remember the days before social media existed. You know, the days when kids rode their bikes with their friends and played outside; when grown adults contributed more to society than cyber-hate behind the anonymity of their computer screens; when people actually read books, went to the library and used the Encyclopedia Britannica to conduct research for an upcoming school paper or project. It wasn’t even that long ago, but it feels like it was light years and it makes me sad. I’m not saying advancements in technology aren’t a good thing; in most cases, they are. But then are those times when a person’s privacy is so viciously violated it makes you question the importance of the latest apps and devices whose intended purposes are for entertainment but are used instead to attack, degrade and shame complete strangers. Such is the case with 2015 Playboy Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers and her Snapchat account. Mathers thought it would be “funny” to take a photo of an unsuspecting naked woman in a gym locker room without permission and post it to her “story” with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” In doing so, Mathers broke the law and now faces jail time. Personally, I hope she gets it.
It all started back in July when Mathers, after finishing a workout at L.A. Fitness, entered the locker room and happened to see the woman, who is in her 70s, getting dressed after having completed her own workout. She snapped the photo in which she can be seen with a visible smile underneath the hand she used to cover her mouth in what appears to be an attempt to stifle her laughter. As pitiful and awful as it was, she made the picture public. The backlash was swift, to the say the least. After people saw the photo, they began to demand Mathers remove the pic, while also expressing their disgust over her actions. When L.A. Fitness received word of the incident, they banned her from ever entering another L.A. Fitness for life, saying Mathers “is not permitted back at any club, ever. Her behavior is appalling and puts every member’s privacy at risk.” In addition to permanently losing her gym membership, she was also fired from her job at radio station KLOS 95.5 where she worked on the “Heidi and Frank” show. Not expecting she would have to face any consequences for her wretched behavior, the 29-year-old made a sad attempt at an apology on her Twitter account where she claimed the photo was meant for a friend only but because she was new to Snapchat, she didn’t quite understand how it worked. Even if that were the case (honestly, does anyone really believe that? Even I know how Snapchat works and I’m the least tech-savvy person I know), it was still a hateful, horrible thing to do. What kind of person gets joy out of body shaming someone they do or don’t know? What business is it of anyone else how or why someone looks the way they do? More importantly, who raised this girl to be so mean?
Mathers wrote on Twitter, “I have chosen to do what I do for a living because I love the female body and I know that body shaming is wrong and that’s not what I’m about, that’s not the type of person that I am. That photo was taken to be a personal conversation with a girlfriend, and because I am new to Snapchat, I didn’t realize that I had posted it and that was a huge mistake.” Talk about a non-apologetic apology. Thankfully, most people didn’t buy it. Her Twitter account has since been deleted.
Mathers’ trouble didn’t end there, however. The LAPD has opened an investigation against her after the woman in the photo came forward; she has stated she plans to cooperate fully and is willing to testify against Mathers in order to ensure she receives the full punishment she deserves. Mathers’ lawyer spoke to a reporter saying, “Dani Mathers never tried to hurt anyone at any time and certainly never tried to break any law.”
If this girl doesn’t know that taking a nude photo of someone without their consent and further posting it in a public forum is against the law, especially considering she works in the nude modeling field, then she has no business using social media at all. At almost 30-years-old, one would hope she’d know better. Hopefully, she’ll “get the picture” if she does receive time behind bars.
When did so many people lose sight of the fact that their actions have consequences, good or bad, and how to treat others the way they would like to be treated themselves? I mean, geez. Grow up, already.