Playboy model suspended for body shaming woman at gym
Dani Mathers, a Playboy playmate, posted two pictures on her Snapchat story on July 14. The first one was of a naked woman in the locker room of a Los Angeles gym with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” The second picture was a selfie of Mathers covering her mouth while hiding a giggle.
The incident blew up and ultimately led to Mathers being banned from all LA Fitness locations, and she has been suspended from her job. The 2015 Playmate of the Year is also facing criminal investigation by the LAPD for “disseminating private images,” according to NY Daily News.
“Her behavior is appalling and puts every member’s privacy at risk,” a spokesperson for the gym told TMZ.
The 29-year-old model claimed to have not known how to use Snapchat. She insisted that she only meant to send the photo privately to one individual rather than the mass amount of people following her public account.
“There is no excuse,” Mathers posted to her Twitter account, which has since been deleted. “I understand fully the magnitude of this post that I have hurt a lot of people, women. Body shaming is not okay … and not something to joke about.”
On top of the written apology, she also filmed a video in which she talked about the stress of her career as a Playboy model. According to NY Daily News, Mathers explained how her job is “all about ‘loving the female body.’”
“I need to take some time to myself now to reflect on why I did this horrible thing,” she said in the video.
“I hate body shaming,” said Jessica Harper, an FGCU sophomore hospitality and management major. “We already have men talking down to us about our bodies; why do we females need to do it to each other?”
Ashley Sambrun, a sophomore legal studies major, agreed with Harper.
“Suspending her from her job was a good decision of them to make,” Sambrun said. “Our society has certainly placed Playboy on a pedestal, and so, as someone with that platform, they should encourage other women to feel as beautiful as they are. But, instead some people feel like there is only one type of way to look, and companies like Playboy definitely take part in that with certain models that they pick.”
Harper said she has faced some of that pressure to look a certain way, especially when working out.
“I have definitely felt like I had to have a certain body type to even be at the gym,” Harper said. “But, if I never went to the gym, how could I have that body type?”
Sambrun feels it’s the fault of behavior like Mathers’ that continues to lower women’s self esteem.
“I don’t even think people realize how mentally damaging body shaming can be for a girl,” Sambrun said. “Just because we don’t look like the next model on the runway doesn’t mean we’re ugly or we need to change our bodies to look like those models. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and you don’t need reassurance from anyone to know that. The minute everyone realizes that, the much better place the world will be.”