It's been over a week since the firestorm Dani Mathers brought down upon herself erupted, and the fallout seems to have no end in sight. In case you still don't know who Dani Mathers is and why you should be reading about her, let me provide you with a quick recap.
Sometime during the week of July 15, the former Playboy Playmate was in the locker room of an LA Fitness when she made the excellent decision to photograph a fellow customer while said customer was naked and showering. Apparently that wasn't despicable enough behavior, because she then decided to send that photo out via Snapchat, which was then was blasted out to all of her followers. But wait, it gets even uglier--she captioned the photo with the words, "If I can't unsee this then you can't either." As Louis Armstrong might sing: What a wonderful world. To add more insult, Mathers then snapped a picture of herself giggling and covering her hand over her mouth.
As the initial surge of backlash, thankfully, erupted, Dani Mathers went into immediate damage control mode and put out a video apologizing and explaining what had happened:
While it's all well and good that Dani took steps to try to keep the incident from getting out of control, I find it interesting that she chose to apologize to her followers and let them know "that's not who I am," but she never actually took the time to apologize to the woman who was severely violated.
Also, it's fascinating to note that the photo was supposed to be for a private conversation and not blasted out to the Snapchat loving public. No mention of the fact that she shouldn't have taken the photo in the first place, just that it wasn't really for the eyes of the entire world. It was just an "accident" that happened and that she shouldn't be judged by her one example gross behavior. It shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that her request fell on mostly deaf ears.
Dani Mathers was forced to close her social media accounts due to the flood of angry comments that began filling her inbox, and she was quickly banned from all LA Fitness gyms throughout the country. She was removed from a radio gig that she had with Heidi & Frank Show on KLOS. Jessica Perez from New York started a petition to have Dani arrested for privacy violation that now has over 30,000 signatures. The LAPD has launched an investigation into her misuse of social media to distribute the image--and they were made aware of it through LA Fitness. Then things really got interesting...
A woman who calls herself Delicate Flower on facebook posted an incredible photo in support of the violated woman and critical of Dani:
Some people have come to Dani's defense and have even gone so far as to blame the naked woman for being "disgusting" in the first place (just check out the comments on Delicate Flower's post) but, thankfully, they have been few and far between.
It turns out that Dani may have, in fact, committed a serious crime. Disgusting? Yes. Unforgivable? Maybe. Illegal? Turns out, most likely. The whole event has gotten so serious that Dani has now hired infamous Michael Jackson lawyer, Tom Mesereau, to defend her against any charges that may be forthcoming. Guess this sends a pretty clear message to everyone that what she did to that poor woman was pretty terrible. Let's see if she (and we, as a society) gets the message.
In the meantime, this terrible debacle has begun to start (continue?) a conversation about body shaming and misuse of social media. An article by Houston Press sums it up pretty nicely--take a look. No one should ever find themselves in a situation where their first inclination is to tear another person down. No one should ever fear having their privacy taken away. No one should ever be put down for who they are. Sounds pretty basic and something that human beings should already know, right? Unfortunately, that's apparently not the case. What a damned shame.