We all know that karma never fails | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | July 30, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: July 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm
A former Playboy model got schooled in sisterhood this month.
Dani Mathers, 29, caught **** for what she did in the locker room of an LA Fitness gym: She photographed an older, overweight, unclothed woman — and posted it on Snapchat with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this, neither can you!”
The photo was accompanied by an image of Ms. Mathers with her hand over her mouth, stifling what was presumably a hearty guffaw.
The social media backlash was fast and furious: A typical tweet: “You disgust me.” Another said: “@DaniMathers it’s people like you that make others uneasy about changing openly in locker rooms. It’s appalling.”
One tweeter wrote: “This woman was at a [really bad word] GYM, and you lookin at her body like it’s deplorable?”
Mathers was immediately fired from her lucrative morning radio gig and is permanently banned from all LA Fitness locations.
She quickly issued a mea culpa. She apologized — get this — for putting the photo on her Snapchat “story” page (where photos stay up for 24 hours), instead of sending it to a friend (sent photos auto-delete in 10 seconds).
If that doesn’t say, “I’m only sorry I got caught,” nothing does.
(Mathers claimed she didn’t know how Snapchat works, but I call shenanigans. She has 553,000 followers on Instagram, more than a million on Facebook and 75,100 on Twitter. If I — who can’t figure out Pinterest — can navigate Snapchat, so can she.)
A later apology, when Mathers realized the depth and breadth of her actions, sounded sincere, if not panicked: “I realize I made a terrible mistake. It was absolutely wrong… I have never done this before and I will never do this again, you have my word.”
Mathers, who was Playmate of the Year 2015 (25 years after the title stopped opening doors), may also face criminal charges. One can only hope.
Yes, reader, I am slinging epic amounts of snark here. What this woman did was reprehensible and makes my scalp crawl with rage: Someone’s trying to improve themselves, putting in the time and effort to get as healthy as possible, and can’t change in a locker room without being mocked?
Maybe the photo is a microcosm of a society that routinely judges overweight, out-of-shape people, if only by ignoring them.
I’m friends with a young mother who lost 30 pounds 15 years ago. I still remember her saying, “I can’t believe the difference in how people treat me.”
“All the guys giving you the eye?” I asked.
“Everyone sees me now,” she replied. “People start conversations or smile at me. Before, I was invisible.”
I wonder if Mathers made the lady in the locker room feel invisible, before she sneakily snapped the photo.
I hope and pray this woman — who harmed no-one, who was cruelly made an object of ridicule- — never realizes what was done to her.
As movie producer Brianna Gardner said so eloquently, “To be violated on such a humiliating and visceral level… is just about the cruelest, meanest thing a woman could do to another woman.”
Ms. Mathers, one day your perky bosom will sag. Your tattoos will get wrinkly and love handles will appear, because gravity and hormones won’t be denied.
When that happens, I sincerely hope no other woman takes a photo without your permission and plasters it on social media for cheap laughs.
But we all know karma never fails.
(Julie R. Smith, who believes what happens in locker rooms should stay in locker rooms, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)