Historically, body-shaming women has been considered a man’s game. This week, Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers singlehandedly burst through that glass ceiling with one despicable Snapchat. The snap in question featured a giggling Mathers and an unsuspecting stranger (an elderly woman) showering nude at her gym. The non-consensual pic was captioned, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” Women across the world were predictably not psyched to add “mocked based on my appearance by a gorgeous Playboy Playmate” to their list of voyeurism-related anxieties. While 2016 has a pretty spotty record in terms of general human decency, it turns out that gross invasions of privacy are still widely frowned upon.
Mathers, who had a pre-Showergate social media presence of around 1.6 million followers, tried to clear things up on her Twitter, writing, “I want to acknowledge my post from snapchat earlier. There is no excuse… I understand fully the magnitude of this post and that I have hurt a lot of people, women. Body shaming is not okay, and is nothing to joke about… This was meant to be a part of a private conversation that never should have happened. There are no words to describe how deeply sorry I am for hurting and offending you all. Women make my world go around, I respect women, I surround myself with women and I completely understand the magnitude of this post. Please please please know how upset I am with myself and take my word that this won’t happen again. I love and appreciate every one of you and know that everyone is beautiful in their own way… That’s what makes us all so special… I can’t undo this mistake, but I ask your forgiveness. Should never make light of another woman’s naked body. I’m sorry for what I did… I need to take some time to myself now to reflect on why I did this horrible thing. Goodnight.”
When the 2015 Playmate of the Year’s Twitter tirade failed to impress her critics, she returned to the scene of the crime: Snapchat. In a series of apology clips, Mathers reiterated her regret, adding that, “The photo was taken as part of a personal conversation with a girlfriend and because I am new to Snapchat I didn’t realize I had posted it.” Possibly due to the fact that the model was adeptly utilizing the very app she purported not to understand, viewers remained unconvinced. Shortly after, Mathers deleted her Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts.
The newly-infamous 29-year-old has historically been a bright star in Hugh Hefner’s firmament. A very NSFW Google search reveals that prior to making Playmate of the Year, Mathers was named Miss May 2014, was a Playboy CyberGirl of the Month, and appeared on Playboy TV’s Badass and Playboy Trip: Patagonia. The aspiring actress’s resume also boasts a recurring role on The Bold and the Beautiful, as well as airtime in Neighbors and Furious 7.
In a 2014 interview, she optimistically mused, “I’ve been acting a long time. I’m hoping that being named Playmate could lead to a host opportunity on a talk show or something like that, but I’m going to enjoy the time I have as Miss May.” And in 2015, she promised to make Hef proud: “I’ve wanted this for so long,” the centerfold said of being named Playmate Of The Year. “Like with any accomplishment, you work hard and hope it pays off, but I can’t believe I did it. I’m committed to being a great PMOY, and I’m going to work my hardest to show everyone how appreciative I am for this opportunity.” A little more than a year later, Mathers’s dreams of doing good and making bank are effectively shot. On the bright side, the Playmate’s official Facebook page is getting more traffic than ever… from dedicated trolls who want to #ArrestDaniMathers.
Outside of the internet, Dani Mathers is facing some seriously real consequences.
Following Thursday’s controversy, she was promptly suspended from her regular radio gig on the “Heidi and Frank” show. And L.A. Fitness, the gym where it happened, isn’t pulling any punches. In addition to banning Mathers from all of their facilities for life, a spokesperson for L.A. Fitness told TMZ, “Her behavior is appalling and puts every member’s privacy at risk. We have handled this internally and also notified the police.” The gym added that cell phone usage and photography are prohibited in locker rooms, explaining, “This is not only our rule it is just common decency.”
Only time will tell if the LAPD actually gets involved, but a Change.org petition to arrest the Playmate for privacy violation has 7,760 supporters and counting.