Watching Weight Watchers


Photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero has created a series in which she herself is situated. We see her in different locations. But the subject are the people surrounding her. Being a person that struggles with her weight, hearing people commenting about her physique has always been part of her life. But capturing the looks and the stares was something that she never thought possible. Until she took photos of herself in Times Square and notices something. In several photographs she notices that different people were staring and some had an expression of disgust on their faces. A new series was born.

The series is called “Wait Watchers”. She places a camera in view and photographed herself doing different things. Such as reading, sketching and talking on the phone. But the one activity that created the most response was when she was eating. For her it is not really certain if people watch her because she’s fat or perhaps she’s taking a photo of herself.

Whether people may look at her for taking a photograph or with the idea “look at that fat lady” is not sure. But what is for sure is that the time we live in has placed a stigma on being a large person. Looking at commercials, magazines and models a standard of size has been set. Compare them to models from the twenties and thirties Or even in art from the 1800s. A difference can be seen. In a way Morris-Cafiero is putting the shame back to ones thoughts. Judging yourself and not someone else.

I have always been aware of people making faces, commenting and laughing at me about my size. I now reverse the gaze and record their reactions to me while I perform mundane tasks in public spaces. I seek out spaces that are visually interesting and geographically diverse. I try to place myself in compositions that contain feminine icons or advertisements.

Haley Morris-Cafiero’s website: haleymorriscafiero.com