Naked Fat Bodies: A Mental Exercise For Dani Mathers

This story about professionally beautiful Playboy model Dani Mathers fascinates me.

I’m glad there was a huge outrage about her violation of someone’s privacy. She broke the rules of the club and also broke the unwritten decency code of social media. It is always interesting to see how those “best practices” get tested and established over just such violations as this.

We all have cameras now, and we record and photograph each other as strangers all the time. That’s normative. That cat is out of the bag, but this wasn’t a cat, it was a pterodactyl attack.

But I want to talk not about social media, but about the premise of most of the articles written about this story, which is that fat people who are naked or scantily clad in public live in terror of being judged.

No, we don’t.

I’m a fat woman who wears a two-piece bathing suit, strips down at the health club with no hesitation, and changes backstage in dressing rooms among fit, young dancers without thinking a thing of my body shape and size.  Anyone who is judging me is judging themselves far more harshly, so I chalk it up to human nature and wish everyone well in their struggle. When you’re writing an article about fat bullying, please do not assume that all fat people have internalized fat phobia.

Dani, you’re a mess, honey.

You’ve got the body beautiful thing down. Now please work on your spirit, which is already badly warped.

I think I read that you’re a model, which must mean that you’re spending your time in an appearance-obsessed population where a slightly rounded stomach or bit of butt jiggle can mean the difference between paying the rent that month or racking up the credit card debt.

I get it, but you need to liberate yourself from the Playboy bunny cage. Get out more. Spend time with a variety of humans of differing body types, abilities, fitness levels and ages. You will undoubtedly discover that your “#goals” are petty concerns to many of them. You need some perspective.

I personally would have felt less disturbed by what you did if you had simply violated the other woman’s privacy and written something critical about her weight. But you wrote, “You can’t unsee this,” which gives me the chills.  “You can’t unsee this” is a total erasure of a person, a complete dehumanization, and equates an ordinary naked body with a horrible grotesquerie that might scar someone for life upon beholding it.  No one says, “You can’t unsee this” about an image that is less than utterly shocking or disgusting. You can offer pathetic apologies all you want, but we all know what that phrase means.

You need to work out your mind, girl. I feel obliged to inform you that that’s all you’re going to have to support you when your body isn’t young and fit or suffers ill health at any point along the way.

Here’s a mental exercise you can do while you’re at the gym or anywhere else. As you notice people around you, focus on them and really see them. They are a collection of fascinating individuals.  Try to imagine them as a tiny baby, then a toddler, then an elementary school age kid, and so on up the life path to elder years, and then end of life, and then death. Remember that you, too, will die, and that none of you knows how, where or when. Let humility touch your heart. As you breathe in and out, breathe in, “I am grateful to be alive in this moment.” As you breathe out, think, “I wish everybody around me the wellness that they, too, seek by being here.”

I hope that helps.  I hope it helps Dani and anyone who suffers from similar spiritual screwiness. For everyone else, let’s continue to challenge and dismantle the irrational belief that slim people are in any way morally superior to fat people.








4 Replies to “Naked Fat Bodies: A Mental Exercise For Dani Mathers”

  1. I followed the link to the original article and photos of the door with a black rectangle (was there really someone behind it?) and the “shocked” woman. Who would be in a sauna wearing a metal bracelet, earbuds, and have a phone? And clothes on? The photos don’t make sense to me.

    Good points in your blog article!

  2. Actually, per the article, it was taken from the sauna looking into the locker room. To address Diane’s point, my impression was that she ducked into the sauna to take the pictures without the other woman seeing her.

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