Playmate Dani Mathers is scheduled to appear in court after publically body-shaming a woman on Snapchat.
Last July, Mathers took a photo of a woman in a L.A. Fitness facility. The 70-year-old woman was showering after a workout. Mathers then posted the photo to Snapchat with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” The next Snapchat photo she posted immediately afterwards was a selfie of Mathers looking shocked, with her hand over her mouth.
L.A. Fitness almost immediately banned Mathers from all locations. Additionally, she was fired from her job with a Los Angeles radio station.
After the repercussions, Mathers apologized on social media, stating that she was “absolutely wrong” and that she didn’t mean to post the photo publically.
Before deleting her Snapchat account, Mathers shared a video stating, “I have chosen to do what I do for a living because I love the female body and I know that body shaming is wrong and that’s not what I’m about, that’s not the type of person I am.”
Authorities tracked down the elderly woman and told her that they intended to charge Mathers with dissemination of private images. The charge can potentially carry a six-month prison sentence.
California law prohibits photographing or filming an “identifiable person” in a private area without their consent. Mathers’ charge is considered a misdemeanor invasion of privacy.
Dana Cole, Mathers’ attorney, argued on Monday that because the woman in the photo wasn’t “easily” identified, the law did not apply in this situation.
“This was a far-away shot, and the victim, her features cannot be identified,” Cole explained.
The LAPD disagrees. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer explains, “Body-shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences. It mocks and stigmatizes its victims, tearing down self-respect and perpetuating the harmful idea that our unique physical appearances should be compared to air-brushed notions of ‘perfect.'”
“While body-shaming, in itself, is not a crime, there are circumstances in which invading one’s privacy to accomplish it can be,” he added. “And we shouldn’t tolerate that.”