In July 2016, Playboy model Dani Mathers, snap storied a body-shaming photo of a woman showering in a locker room. The caption: 'If I can't unsee this then you can't either!' Thousands of viewers responded with backlash and Mathers offered a phony excuse alongside a pseudo-apology. 

This is not a hate post about Dani Mathers, although surely we can agree that what she did was hateful. 

Instead, let's talk about the big picture, and let's start with the happiest country in the world. In Denmark, women walk around fully nude in locker rooms. It's not seen as invasive, because the norm is to Mind Your Own Business. When everyone walks fully naked from locker to shower everyday, you acclimate; it feels normal.

Imagine growing up seeing people of all shapes and sizes acting comfortably in their own skin. The danes who I interviewed on the subject agreed it likely has positive effects on Danish adolescents' ideas about body image.

There's something healthy–dare I say comforting?–about seeing that everyone else has wrinkles, cellulite, veins, or insert-body-imperfection-here also. It deescalates feelings of low self-esteem and isolation. Now, compare that message to Dani Mathers' fat-shaming snap.

This Danish cultural norm reinforces realistic body images – to counter-balance the photo-shopped and personal trainer-crafted bodies strewn across every form of media. The American cover-up culture leaves adolescents with two reference points: Gigi Hadid compared to their own bodies – which sky-rockets unrealistic expectations and harsh self-criticism. 

Everything is wrong about Dani Mathers' snap. It shames a normal woman acting like ordinary human being – for existing. It teaches, "It's not okay to look a certain way." It teaches, "It's her fault for looking this way." It teaches, "She deserves to be treated badly because of how her body looks."

I can't even say that I hope Dani Mathers is one day all the characteristics she taunted – wrinkled, old, what have you – because those aren't  punishments. They are normal parts of the human condition. I'd argue they are gifts – the fact that we can live 2-3x as long as people did before the Industrial Revolution, long enough to meet grandchildren or great grandchildren – is a gift. I deeply regret that our culture has fallen to such depths that some prioritize superficial, egotistical, and inconsequential attributes over those gifts.

As for Mathers, I feel sorry for her. It's too bad she embraced a sick way of judging people, based on an arbitrarily-established ranking of physical characteristics. It's too bad she acted like hate as a form of satire could be entertaining. I feel compassion for her future daughters – for all our future daughters – who will one day develop their priorities, self esteem, and self worth based on the world we construct for them today.