With the election going on last year, particularly the furor around the DNC Convention, I must confess that I missed this story when it first occurred.
In her first interview since photographing a naked woman at the gym and sharing the image on Snapchat, former Playboy model Dani Mathers said she “just wasn’t thinking” when she did it.
Last week the 2015 Playboy Playmate of the Year pleaded no contest to invasion of privacy for photographing a 70-year-old woman in an L.A. Fitness shower last July.
Mathers was roundly criticized online for body-shaming the older woman with a derogatory remark.
As part of her plea deal, Mathers cannot take pictures of anyone or post them online without their permission during her three years of probation.
Let’s hope this is the moment when people finally stop thinking that taking and posting pics of unsuspecting people for mockery or meme-ing is in any way cool or acceptable. It isn’t.
I know a few people who don’t have any qualms about doing this to strangers in public and it bugs me. I will admit that I’ve laughed at PeopleOfWalmart.com before, but I would never do this myself. It can happen to anyone and it can happen to you.
Not that I’m being super-judgmental of those of you who might do this, because I’ve certainly been tempted. For example, the woman who cuts my hair has the most severe case of Resting Bitch Face ever beheld in this world. I’ve been tempted to furtively get a picture of her just to show how far gone it is, but always remind myself that it would be wrong.
Like, I know that RBF is overdiagnosed and it seems like every woman who isn’t constantly grinning is accused of having it. I don’t throw the label around lightly, I swear. It’s just that she always looks like a pit bull with hemorrhoids. ALWAYS.
One time, I pulled up into a parking space in front of her salon and she was looking out the window. I caught her icy glare and I thought she was pissed at me for something I had done the minute I showed up. If not for the fact that there was a plate glass window and my windshield between her eyes and my soul, I’d be dead.
“Jesus Christ!” I exclaimed as I recoiled back in my seat.
“What is it, Dad?” asked Thrill Jr, who was in the back seat and would be getting his haircut too.
“Agh. I’m wondering if we need to go somewhere else. Gawd. Sorry. Forget I said anything.”
I constantly try to get some kind of reaction out of her when I’m in her chair. I throw out just a little bit of humor and try to get her to show some personality. You know, can’t judge a book by its cover, right? But no, it never gets more than a fleeting smirk. I think she’s dead inside. That face really is like gazing into the Abyss and having it look back into you.
Anyway, I end up going back home afterward and telling Mrs Thrill about it every month.
“Oh, your hair looks nice,” says Mrs Thrill.
“Thanks. Resting Bitch Face cut it again.”
My wife laughs. “Why do you keep going to her since she’s so scary?”
“She does a good job.”
That’s what’s so bizarre about it. I’m convinced that she hates me, which can’t be true because I always tip well. Getting a haircut from her is always uncomfortable and subtly threatening, but I tolerate it anyway because she clearly did learn to do quality work at the Cosmetology School of Erebus or wherever the hell terrifying entities develop job skills.
Right. So I could go on all day about this woman’s RBF. Even though I know that words cannot adequately describe it and that you would love to see it for yourself, I would never want to humiliate her by making her a spectacle on the Internet. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
I do in fact value her dignity more than your curiosity.
That’s what it comes down to. Can’t we all agree that even if technology has given us the power to always have a camera on our person that can instantly develop and reproduce photographs that it’s something we should use responsibly? We should form a new societal consensus finding that even if our collective expectation of privacy is pretty much gone, we should at least have enough respect for our fellow humans to not expose them when they’re at their most vulnerable and potentially embarrassing situations.
So yeah. I’m glad Mathers is being punished for this. As much as I applaud this sentence, I would still have the decency to not photograph her if I saw her performing her community service.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go Google those Playboy photos of hers.