Wait Watchers: Woman Photographs Spectators' Reactions To Overweight People

Look ahead and mind your own business, or be published in a photo series that goes viral. FML.

Photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero turned herself into the subject of her social experiment when she decided to photograph herself in a series of photos. Her series “Wait Watchers” captures passersby reactions of an overweight person, clearly displaying the constant judgment of which overweight people must deal with on a daily basis. Morris-Cafiero has struggled with an eating disorder in the past and currently suffers from hyperthyroidism.

“I don’t do it out of anger. I consider it a social experiment. It’s not a ‘gotcha!’ kind of sensationalism. But it is taking the camera and reversing the gaze of the stranger back on to them. I think it’s a barometer of society, really.”

According to BoredPanda, the project started in 2010 when Morris-Cafiero was taking a self-portrait Times Square and noticed a man staring at her instead of posing for his own photo. The photographer claimed she knew the staring was coming from a place of judgment based on the length of time in which he was staring.

“I’ve heard people make comments on my weight, but I never thought I’d be able to capture that on film,”  Morris-Cafiero says.

Well, the images speak for themselves. Take a look.



More info about Haley and her project can be found on her haleymorriscafiero.com.

By Nadine / Thursday 22 February 2018 12:17 / France
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Top comments
  OrchidKitten  |  21

I don't see a bunch of weird poses. Some people lean on one leg more than the other, and from what I've seen it shows more with larger people because their legs can't hold their weight correctly unless spread a bit more.

By  faifai_fml  |  21

In the playground pic, they were probably looking because she's a grown-azz woman stuffed into a kid's swing. But for the rest--yeah, I agree with the photographer.

  QueenSaru  |  28

Playground pic = adult on kid's swing, gonna get looks. Two pics with a map, people always make faces at tourists. #2, girl in the background is probably making a face because someone's pointing a camera in her direction. #3, weird pose. #5 she is just judging those shoes, eyeline isn't even on the woman's body.

Yes people are assholes (to everyone), but these photos seem cherry-picked and set up to have someone staring at her.

I do not think it was necessary her weight that caused the weird looks. In one picture, she is sitting on bricks, why? In a few, she is posing with a map. My thought would be who uses physical maps these days, weird, right? I can guarantee that a skinny person would still receive weird looks. If you take enough pictures, you will eventually get a few pictures with people giving you weird looks, especially if you are just standing there in the middle of a moving crowd with no intention of moving or waiting for someone.

By  azouwa  |  26

"People watching." An American past time. Cheaper than the zoo and twice the fun.