In this ~day and age,~ body-shaming isn’t really seen as a crime, since so many people do it and get away with it. It sucks, but it’s sort of the way it goes: people don’t take body-shaming seriously since it’s so common. We see comments on Instagram making fun of celebrity bodies, and nobody thinks twice. Well, now it can be seen as an actual crime, because one former model is getting sentenced to community service for body-shaming another woman.
You might remember that annoying viral Snapchat photo that made the rounds last summer when former Playboy model Dani Mathers took a photo of a naked woman at the gym with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this than you can’t either.” Not only is that incredibly rude, but taking a photo of a naked person without their permission, and then circulating that naked photo publicly is a violation of privacy. On top of breaking the law, why is she judging another woman’s body? This story was terrible and upsetting, and now Dani is finally getting punished for it. At her recent court date, Dani was given the choice between 45 days in jail and 36 months’ probation, or 30 days of graffiti removal followed by 36 months of probation. She chose the community service.
On top of the community service, Dani may have to pay fines of up to $1,000 to the woman. TIME also reports that she has to pay $60 to replace a backpack that you can see in the photo, since that can help people identify the subject.
The fact that this had to happen in the first place sucks, since nobody should ever, EVER take a photo of someone without their permission, and then post it on the internet with awful comments. This is even more true if the person is naked or not fully clothed, and even more true if this person is a celebrity distributing to a large audience. As Los Angeles city attorney Mike Fuerer said during the trial, “The issues that surround body-shaming can be devastating, not only to daughters and mothers, but also to sons and fathers, members of the LGBTQ community, to a trans kid who might be struggling with identity, to people who are disabled. The message today is clear: Body-shaming is not tolerated in the city of Los Angeles.”
Not only should it be not tolerated in LA, but it really shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere. Bodies don’t deserve to be violated and humiliated, no matter what they look like. Just because you look different than someone does not give you the right to comment about their appearance.
It kind of stinks that Dani didn’t get more of a punishment than a few days of cleaning graffiti, but some kind of punishment is better than nothing. No one likes to see privileged celebrities get away with everything they do just because they’re famous, so it’s nice to see some kind of justice here. Hopefully, this case ruling will send a message to others that body-shaming should not and will not be tolerated anymore.
What did you think of this case? Tell us in the comments!