Haley Morris-Cafiero’s Photos Of People Sneering At Her Weight

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In her series titled Wait Watchers, the photography of Haley Morris-Cafiero turns an eye back on those that turn an eye on her.  While creating an image for another series Morris noticed a man “sneering” at her behind her back.  Wait Watchers intentionally captures these reactions – the sneer, raised eyebrow, the frown that Morris says she is aware others make in regards to here weight.  The sadly familiar scenes play out all the time.  However, frozen in a photograph adds another emotional level to the work.

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  • Kara

    Maybe some of the people are sneering at her, but it’s hard to tell from a photo. In some of them the people appear to be looking at something other than her -the camera (like the beach shot), or looking down the street (in the one at the crosswalk). In others she’s doing something that people would look, reading a huge map while walking, bending over/dropping something, standing the wrong way in the middle of a crowd of walking people. Sometimes people just look at other people, and I think it’s almost unfair to portray some of these people as sneering at her over her weight without really knowing that they are doing that.

  • Brittney

    I completely agree with Kara, you dont know what some of those people were thinking . It is highly unfair for someone like this to think that people are sneering behind her back. Maybe its just paranoia…and i know thats not a good thing but i seriously doubt any one of these people had that on their mind.

  • dave

    Firstly, “weight watchers” is the best possible title for this series, its exactly that type of terrible pun that tickles me deep.

    This is either about people being assholes, or about someones paranoid delusions that everyone is sneering at them. I am currently thinking about the relationship between those two concepts and its relation to myself, so the series is a success- it got me think about something i wasn’t thinking about 5 minutes ago.

    Anyway, theres that photo of her standing playing with her phone in the middle of a crowd crossing the street. If i was crossing that street, I would, without fail, be sneering my face off at her.

    I assume she would have purposely acted like a piece of shit whenever posing for a photo so as to evoke sneers from people, making this work less about her weight, and more about peoples reactions to overall undesirable people/ things, which i find way scarier.

  • and

    There is a fundamental duty in this photo series to show how these pictures were taken. Without acknowledging that part of the photo series’ narrative in any way, these remain utterly manipulative. You cannot in good faith bring a camera into a public area and expect no response to where you point it. By pointing a camera in a public space you are quite literally directing everyone’s eye somewhere, you are creating a spectacle. I’m complaining, more than anything else, that this is completely unacknowledged in the photo series- there are completely different stories being told if the photographer is standing in plain sight, or if the photographer is hiding in the bushes, or if there is a candid camera being used. There is an entire level on which this photo series cannot operate, because it is incomplete.

  • and

    also, to give the series such a directive title is to my mind writing your entire audiences opinions for them, and simplifying it to an extreme. I think this is a hideous failure to engage in any level of meaningful discourse; this is an advertisement of one woman’s bodily insecurity.

  • Sam

    A lot of these pictures looks like she’s standing in peoples way or doing something odd. I think the idea that people are staring because of her weight is a construct of the atrist, and not actually what’s happing in the majority of these pictures.

  • The “sneerers” and what and why they are looking this way or that is more open to interpretation than the horoscope section of the newspaper.

  • I really think the title conveys the photographers intentions or reading of the photos. Also, I like think the B/D audience (as the comments suggest) is independent enough to form an independent critical opinion regardless of the title.

    You are right to be skeptical, though. You touch on an important issue. In a way the series makes the assumption that photographs are somehow objective documents of real events which, in my opinion, is hardly ever the case – photographs are just as subjective as paintings or sculptures.

  • in the beginning of the book by roald dahl called the TWITS, he discusses how people can be ugly simply by the manner they carry themselves. if you note the pics of this lady in this shoot, her face looks absolutely miserable; in pain actually. My friends and I call it the ‘fart-sniffer’ look, as if she is just angry and mad. From my personal experience, (as im not symmetrical or classically handsome,) i would get the same responses from the general publi, if i was to go out with a disgusting demeanor as this photo shoot protrays; you get from the world what you put out there. its how it goes…

  • yeah, what other people said… good idea but the results are dubious at best.

  • Chris

    It’s not about her weight – it’s about her self confidence and how she freaking carries herself.

    IF this woman were wearing a “plus size” nice outfit – with nice shoes etc – she would “own” the outfit and nobody would look at her as if she’s a leper because quite frankly shes dressed like one.

    Look at all the plus size women in the media who are renowned for being plus size but gorgeous. Dress like everyone else in society – and they’ll leave u alone.

  • Bethany

    These sneering people are horrible, and you find them everywhere! People are always doing it to me because I do not wear the same clothes as they are and because I am different. People pretend to be against bullying and yet they do it themselves in their own way! They need to start to realise that it’s not what you look like that matters; it’s who you are inside! It’s obvious though, that they are not very nice people, because they are making others feel bad about themselves for no reason. It’s surprising, how much sneers can give you a really bad opinion of yourself.

  • erin_day

    I see people doing this to my adult daughter and it really upsets me. I just want to lash out at them. It really happens here in Australia and the middle aged women are the main offenders. So don’t make excuses, if you do then you are even more pathetic than them. There’s nothing special about these women. As my daughter says, “I can lose weight, but you’ll always be ugly”

  • diggerdigger

    Lose some fucking weight and stop standing in the middle of the pavement then, idiot.

  • diggerdigger

    This is beyond stupid. Half the time the people are probably wondering why that fat idiot is having her picture taking doing banal everyday things. The other half were probably looking PAST her but you can manipulate the context to your own agenda. Oh, and being fat is unhealthy not liberating. This site is fucking terrible.

  • Koldobika2020

    In most of these photos (if not all of them), I can practically guarantee that not a single person gives a fuck about her weight. In some of them they are glaring at her because she is obviously in their way and they are in a hurry. In others, they probably notice the obnoxious tripod camera, quickly associate it with her (because it’s pointed at her), and then glare at her for snapping photos of them without their permission (surprise surprise, a lot of people don’t like getting their picture taken, in public or otherwise). I have glared at people for being similarly obnoxious in public. People of all sizes and races and abilities. This woman is simply suffering from a victim complex. It’s almost entirely in her head. That or she is somehow narcissistic enough to believe that people in public who are in a hurry to get somewhere actually care about her weight enough to spend the time judging her in their minds.

  • leetdood

    This is so true. In every picture it looks like she just took a huge bite out of a log of shit and is now contemplating how it tastes.

  • DF

    Couldn’t agree more – I’d look pretty angry as well if I had to navigate around a large speed bump. Her assumptions are ridiculous and the overall frump look she carries around surely solicits smiles from everyone.

  • If I was in one of her photos and appeared evil or interested and then published; the image would become her last published photo.

  • Chartreuxe

    The camera is hidden.

  • Chartreuxe

    Stop being an asshole. Oh, you can’t do that.

  • Jane Doe

    “I put the camera on a tripod, bench or with an assistant, in full view of the by-passing gazer, set the focus and exposure and take hundreds of photographs.” Oh yeah, super hidden.

  • sarah

    I just want to say kudos for the idea of this. It is disgusting to me how people sneer at people who are overweight. My father is a bit over weight and growing up I always heard all kinds of things. Its horrible. As far as some of these comments about fat speed bumps….you are ridiculous! You sound like a complete idiot. You should never try to put someone down because they look different than you. People with your mentality are UGLY. You have heard the old saying ” your cute until you open your mouth!” Think about it.

  • jackedclown

    Owned….I hate self righteous people anymore. They are usually the white people who have no minority friends but who stick up for minorities the most. They will say being fat is liberating but they are lazy people who do more damage on our health care system than smokers. Embarrassing. Self righteous people other wise known as liberals.

  • jackedclown

    Read every response in this thread. Everyone is against your opinion. Hey everyone here’s another self righteous liberal. Self righteous people are the true disease of the world.

  • jackedclown

    Self righteous liberal here. Everyone look this guy is a self righteous lib. His life is so much better because of how altruistic he is.

  • Natasha

    This is stupid. Capitalizing on being fat. Nobody is actually looking at her. How self-centered of her to think that, that many people actually care to look at her. Ugh. Don’t fund her kick starter.

  • Jamiechubby2

    It honestly seems that they give her a wtf look not because of her weight, but because she is awkward in a public spot. l wouldn’t sneer at someone for being over weight cause I am a huge person myself, I WOULD sneer at a person blocking a walk way or standing there trying to get attention. Her poses are awkward and people do react with that same kind of look for something unusual going on. I don’t think it is because she is large. She kinda brings out a look at me feeling with her photos. She may think she isn’t attracting attention but she has the feel of performance art.