We live in a time when all that we say and all that we do can no longer be considered private, especially once social media comes into play. Once something is put online, it is almost always impossible to retrieve it and even if it is accidental or unintentionally harmful, there are consequences. Dani Mathers, known as Playboy’s Playmate of 2015, posted a photo of a nude woman in the locker room on her Snapchat story on July 14. Her caption for the photo was “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either” and subsequently posted a photo of herself laughing. Mathers later removed the photo and apologized on her public Twitter that was since deleted, but the damage was done. Mathers cannot claim any innocence in her actions and there must be legal consequences so that people understand that it is not only morally unacceptable to body shame, but also that it is legally reprehensible to put someone in such a vulnerable position.
According to NY Daily News, Mathers claimed that she meant to send the photo to a friend, but that she accidentally made it public because she was unfamiliar with Snapchat. Despite my previous assertion that nothing we do can truly be considered private, the unknown woman’s privacy was in fact wrongfully violated. No one should fear when they are in a locker room that someone is going to take a photo of them and distribute it. More so, simply because Mathers may not have intended for the photo to be public does not mean that she should be treated any differently. The actions that one takes in private can reveal the nature of a person and even if a person only says or does something behind closed doors does not mean that what was said or done is any less wrong.
Since the photo was published and subsequently removed, a spokesperson for the gym that Mathers attended contacted the authorities, reported NY Daily News. The website went on to say that the spokesperson also contacted TMZ explaining, “Her behavior is appalling and puts every member’s privacy at risk. We have handled this internally and also notified the police.” NY Daily News further elaborated that Mathers was suspended from her regular position on the “Heidi and Frank” show on KLOS 95.5 and that she was banned from all L.A. Fitness facilities. I am glad that action is being taken against Mathers. In the coming weeks, I hope that charges will be pressed against her so that the woman who fell victim to her cruel and senseless “joke” can have a little piece-of-mind knowing that Mathers will no longer be able to maliciously attack people based on their appearance.