UPDATE: It seems that Dani may see the inside of a jail cell after all.
Peep the updated story here: http://www.themarysue.com/dani-mathers-faces-jail-time/
Lovers of the Zoo.
I greet you today, but not from a happy place. No. Instead, I’m greeting you from a very pissed off and horrified place. And you wanna know why that is? Well, look no further than two words:
Indeed, if you were on the internet at all this past week, you probably heard the story of should-be sex offender Dani Mathers. And if you didn’t, here’s a recap:
2015 Playboy Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers recently found herself Taylor-Swifting across eight lanes to antagonize an unnamed fat woman in the locker room of an LA Fitness gym. To elaborate, the aforementioned woman was minding her own damned business, trying to get her fitness and her hygiene on by taking a damned shower.
Mathers took it upon herself NOT to mind her own business and thought it would be HIGH-larious to snap a photo of the unsuspecting woman, captioning it “If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either”, before posting it on Snapchat and posting another picture of herself laughing like vile summabitch she is.
Of course, Mathers, for some reason, did not anticipate any backlash, but boy did the backlash come a-knocking. Not only did LA Fitness swiftly bring the (ban)hammer down, barring her from ever stepping in any of their 800+ locations again, but they also reported her illegal act to the LAPD. To top that off, Mathers was fired from her radio hosting job on The ‘Heidi and Frank’ radio show (on L.A.’s KLOS) and the online backlash for her disgusting violation continued to build until she eventually had to issue an “apology” on her Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat accounts (accounts that she later deleted, FYI).
I “say” apology because not only does she gloss over the fact that what she did was illegal, but she also attempts to excuse this illegal act by saying that she never meant to post this NAKED WOMAN’S BODY ONLINE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE and instead meant to send it to her friends.
As if that is better.
Which it isn’t. Just to be clear.
That said, there are two things about this loathsome story that I have been pondering on recently:
1. There is the fact that people were actually trying to defend Mathers’ actions, citing that she made a simple “mistake”. A boo-boo, if you will.
2. There is also the fact that Dani Mathers literally could not mind her own business. She literally deemed it necessary to came out of her own lane, violate someone’s body and privacy and post it online for all to see.
I initially was going to talk about these two things as if they were separate things, but they are not. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the two are intertwined and form a perfect union of trifling matrimony.
To explain, Mather’s mistake was not a simple mistake. No. Describing it as such, implies that it was childish and harmless to no one. Describing it as such implies that she did not purposely take a photo of an unsuspecting, naked woman in a locker room/bathroom for all to see when she HERSELF says that while the ultimate goal was not to post it online (I call bullshenanigans), she did intend to share it with her friends (who are—SURPRISE—still STRANGERS to the woman in the bathroom who did not consent to her naked body being shared to anyone in this trifling exchange).
Both of these assumptions are not only wrong, but they are violent. They are violent in that they minimize the gross impact on her actions on this naked woman and they also minimize and seek erase the larger implications that Mathers’ actions have on the world at-large when it comes to fat people.
What’s more, as I have pointed out many, many times already, what Mathers did was illegal. “Law-abiding” citizens who routinely make excuses for marginalized (read: Black and Brown) citizens getting illegally gunned down by police by telling them to “obey the law” in order to avoid being gunned down by said police should have no problem understanding Mathers herself did not “obey the law” and therefore should face adequate punishment for this offense.
Don’t believe me? Here are a couple of (California) laws that Mathers was in violation of:
SB-1255 Disorderly conduct: unlawful distribution of an image.
647. Except as provided in subdivision (l), every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:
(j) (1) Any person who looks through a hole or opening, into, or otherwise views, by means of any instrumentality, including, but not limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camera, motion picture camera, camcorder, or mobile phone, the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside. This subdivision shall not apply to those areas of a private business used to count currency or other negotiable instruments.
(3) (A) Any person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another, identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which that other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that other person.
And those are just the laws I found during a quick Google search. And that’s not even counting the other, I don’t know, 49 STATES?
In addition to the fact that we cannot dismiss Mathers breaking the law (and overriding basic, common decency), we also cannot minimize her actions because they are nothing minuscule about them.
When Mathers took a photo of that woman in the locker room and captioned it how she did and shared it as wide as she did, she made a conscious decision to degrade, humiliate, and dehumanize a woman because she was fat.
This, lovers of the Zoo, is fatphobia. This is fatphobia in all its ugliness and violence.
Fatphobia makes averaged-sized people (all shade intended) believe that they are entitled to fat bodies. It makes them believe that they are entitled to making unsolicited comments about fat bodies and it makes them believe that they are entitled to touching on fat bodies.
Not to mention, fatphobia is so prevalent in our culture that it can affect job prospects, pay, and etc
You know, things that should have nothing to do with your weight/appearance (like hello).
This is ultimately why the Dani Mathers story is so vile to me. Not only is it a perfect example of the fucked up nature that is fatphobia, but it is also the highest violation of “not staying in your lane” that I have seen in recent history.
No one asked for Mathers’ opinion on this woman trying to take a shower. No one asked for her commentary on this woman trying to enjoy a mundane day at the gym. This woman was doing nothing to bother Ms. Mathers’ in the slightest. In fact, the only “sin” that this woman committed according to Mathers’ was—you guessed it—being fat AND existing. Fatphobia is such a prevalent problem that average-sized/skinny folx won’t even let fat people live in peace.
Frankly, I will never get that. What compels you to comment on someone’s else life and/or body when it is a. not harming you or b. not harming anyone else around you in the process? Like, what’s up? Where they do that at?
I mean, with all the time Dani spent on antagonizing this poor woman, she could have been focusing on her own mediocre looks and mediocre career, but…a las.
And for those who would dare to also Taylor-Swift across eight lanes and point out that “health concerns” were enough of a “reason” for Dani (or anyone else like that wayward heifer) to open her entitled mouth and comment on someone else’s body: fuck off.
I have known people who have been skinny/average-sized but have had horrendous health problems because their insides certainly don’t reflect their “thinness”. But because they “at least aren’t fat” (an actual quote that was said to me once upon a time), it was okay.
I have also known fat people who have been the pinnacles of health, but once again, because they were fat, their fatness was automatically perceived as “unhealthiness”. One day, I’d LOVE to talk about how this fuckery manifests itself in the healthcare industry where primary doctors are concerned and how that intersects with the “weight loss industry”, but that is a post for another day.
Moral of the story: Don’t be a Dani Mathers. Mind your gahtdambt business. Leave people alone and especially leave fat people alone. And, you know, if you can’t mind your damn business and you find that fat bodies make you uncomfortable, well, you’re just going to have to be uncomfortable, now aren’t you?
P.S. [Cis]People like Dani Mathers pose a danger to bathrooms. Not Trans people.
Images From: TMZ, MTV, Tumblr, Maxim, Zimbio, Giphy.com