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Warning: Body Shaming Can Be Hazardous to Your Freedom


Debbie says:

In July, I wrote about former Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers, who posted an unflattering photo of an older woman changing clothes at the gym to Snapchat. She used the caption “If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either.”


Mathers claims she just meant to send the image to a friend, not post it publicly. Somehow, that didn’t make me feel any better about her.

Although I’m far from the only body-image activist who called Mathers out, I never imagined that she might actually face any serious consequences. Jail never crossed my mind. In so many circumstances, shaming “imperfect” bodies is the socially accepted norm, not a crime or even a mis-step.

Sam Warner’s Esquire article about the photograph tells an unexpected story:

According to TMZ, the unnamed woman is in her 70s and reportedly wants to see Mathers prosecuted, and is also willing to testify.

She could be charged with Dissemination of Private Images, which carries a maximum sentence of six months. …

[Mathers] was subsequently banned from LA Fitness for life and suspended from her slot on KLOS radio, with the LA police opening an investigation.

 I didn’t know that “dissemination of private images” was a crime: I’m glad it is.I hope Dani Mathers doesn’t go to jail.  I’m too much of an activist, and have too much distrust for our penal system, to want to see almost anyone go to jail. However, the ban from the gym and the suspension of her radio program are excellent responses to her behavior. And it doesn’t bother me at all that she’s currently afraid that she might have to go to jail.

If only everyday ordinary body-shaming, the kind that doesn’t involve Playmates and national news, had real-life consequences too. Maybe someday.

Women’s Health Heroes

Laurie says:

Just got this from Our Bodies Ourselves. I’ll have to think about my nomination, but it made me think of the gray haired 50ish lesbian doctor in NYC in the 50’s, who prescribed (yes, they were by prescription only) diaphragms for unmarried and under age (less then 21) young women. You did have to pretend you were were engaged. Good contraception was remarkable hard for women to get.This was seriously illegal at the time, as were abortions (in case anyone’s forgotten). She did a lot of good in difficult times.

When you hear the words “Women’s Health Hero,” who comes to mind? Your 9th grade health teacher who taught you about sexually transmitted infections? The midwife who sat with you through 15 hours of labor? The young Nigerian activist you read about who’s working to end gender discrimination in her country? Or maybe the neighbor who counter-protests at the abortion clinic every Saturday morning?

Whoever your heroes are, we want to know about them! We’ve created the Our Bodies Ourselves Women’s Health Heroes awards to honor those who make significant contributions to the health and well-being of women. It’s a great way to publicly recognize people who make a difference in your life or the lives of others.
Nominations are now being accepted. Please visit for more information.