Dani Mathers’ Fat Shaming Did Us a Favor
The sad truth is that fat shaming can be found everywhere—on the TV, the radio, in person and, worst of all in many ways, social media. It is not just that it is present everywhere, though. When done on social media, cruel comments can go viral quickly and can effectively destroy a person’s reputation and earn them a lot of negative publicity. Something that Playboy model Dani Mathers recently learned, and a lesson she certainly will not soon forget.
Dani Mathers was in the locker rooms at an LA Fitness in Los Angeles when she saw a woman who did not meet her beauty standards. She then decided to snap a picture of the woman—who was nude at the time and unaware this even occurred—and posted it to her Snapchat in what she assumed was a private message, with the comment that if she could not unsee it, neither could the friend she meant to send it to. Only, the message was not private.
Within hours, the incident had gone viral and Mathers was experiencing a major fall-out from all sides, with people attacking her for what she had done via social media. Countless news publications picked up the story and began running it. But, even with an apology, the damage was done. Mathers lost her job as a radio host, got banned from all 8,000 LA Fitness locations, and is under criminal investigation by the LAPD for illegally taking the photo of the woman.
What Mathers did was wrong and cruel, but it did shine a light on the issue of fat shaming. Body activist Delicate Flower posted an open letter on her Facebook page, telling Mathers of her struggle with accepting her body at times. She reminded Mathers that not everyone has a model body, but that does not mean they are not beautiful. She included a picture taken by her husband—one which she originally did not like, but allowed her husband to keep after he called it beautiful—and dared Mathers to “unsee” it. She also made a point that she could likely get hundreds of women to share their photos and, regardless of their size, they would all be more beautiful than Mathers, whose ugliness showed through her fat shaming.
And just as Delicate Flower assumed, countless women did share pictures of themselves on social media. Photos were posted with their own stories and statements, all similar to Delicate Flower’s own, with tags like #UnSeeTHIS and #AllBodiesAreBeautiful.
The campaign against fat shaming has now gained so much-needed attention, thanks to what Mathers did. Now, more people are aware of just how big a problem fat shaming truly is and how badly it has to end. It has brought people closer together in many ways and has shown what can happen when people come together for a common cause. The fight against fat shaming is not over yet, but not more and more people are joining in to say that all bodies and beautiful, regardless of their size. So, in some ways, you can say thanks, Dani Mathers for helping the cause.
Dear Strangers, Please Just Stop Your Shallow Body Shaming