Haley Morris-Cafiero has been hearing rude comments about her weight for most of her life, but she doesn’t get upset when it happens. Instead, she decided to pull out her camera and set up a shoot.

For about a year, Morris-Cafiero has been taking pictures of strangers’ reactions in public for a series called Wait Watchers. She became interested in capturing something she already knew firsthand: If the large women in historical art pieces were walking around today, they would be scorned and ridiculed.

Morris-Cafiero explains in her article:

I found a crowded crosswalk farther down La Rambla, used my rangefinder camera to set the exposure and focus of where I would stand, and handed the camera to my assistant. I bought a cup of gelato and began eating it. I’ve learned I get more successful reactions if I am “doing” something.

In my peripheral vision, I saw a teen girl waiting for the signal to cross the street. As I stood there, eating my ice cream, I heard a repetitive “SLAP, SLAP, SLAP” of a hand on skin. I signaled to my assistant to shoot. It was only when I returned home to Memphis and got the film developed that I realized the sound was the girl hitting her belly as she watched me eat. She did this over and over. I have five frames of her with various facial expressions. I called the resulting image “Gelato.”


Wow. Some people can really be so cruel.

Haley also explains that her struggle with her body started after graduating from high school. She played soccer her whole life, sometimes three teams at one time. When she started college, there was no more soccer and her weight ballooned from a size 7 to a size 14 in weeks. Eventually, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Though she did go through phases of food restriction and over-exercise, she came to realize that punishing herself for something she couldn’t control made no sense because “self-criticism is a waste of time,” she explains. [via Salon]

This is such an interesting article, and I urge you all to read it and share your thoughts in the comments below!

What do you think about Wait Watchers, Lovelies?