Overweight woman photographs strangers staring at her
An obese woman has captured the cruel looks and stares she attracts in public by photographing herself in different social settings. Haley Morris-Cafiero, 37, an artist from Memphis, Tennessee, is seen sitting in restaurants, out shopping and strolling around bustling tourist attractions such as Times Square while curious passers-by are captured in the background.
Talking about the revealing collection of images she writes on her website: 'I have always been aware of people making faces, commenting and laughing at me about my size.' She admits that her weight has been a constant battle and growing up she often felt 'left out and awkward'. Instead of talking about her body she refers to 'my uncontrollable exterior'.
On the subject of her eating habits she told MailOnline: 'My biggest temptation has to be donuts. They contain all of the caloric evils in one round, portable container: fried, bread and sugar,' Explaining what inspired her picture series titled Wait Watchers, she said: 'I decided to photograph myself sitting alone on the Times Square stairs to capture my solitude in a busy crowd.
I'm not so sure about this. What if the people were looking at her getting her picture taken? Was the camera even hidden? If it wasn't you are not going to get a fair look, people are going to wonder why the camera is there? In my area of the country, she is not that fat, she is not exceptional, she would blur into the background mostly. Even in the picture above, the woman in the plaid coat is near her size.
She does seem kind of awkward, that alone can attract people's attention. Don't take this wrong, I think fat people have the right to dress badly as everyone else and be left in peace, but I found myself thinking, if I was that size and with the wide variety of clothes in size 18-20, the size I am guessing she wears, I'd be dressed a whole lot better. Clothing comes near and dear for us super-sized folks. She seems to dress "young" for her age. Hope folks don't get upset with me for saying that, maybe I have this personal bugaboo about fat women who dress so down almost reinforcing the role they are expected to play. Rebel a bit, and allow yourself some style.
That may be more about "me", but I found myself thinking and feeling guilty about it, "Why are you dressed so badly, why are you wearing red shoes with the primary colors blue and green!- Fashion alert!" Remember I am poor myself and probably break endless fashion rules, but that one bugged me. She dresses like she is still a teen. Clinton and Stacy could have a field day on "What Not To Wear". I wish she would buy herself a pretty dress and a nice necklace to wear or even something that she is COMFORTABLE in wearing.
Anyhow, one other thing I thought, is "YOU ARE BARELY FAT!" Ok, she isn't svelte, but I could go to the local Wal-mart and find 10 people who outweigh her by at least 150lbs within 20 minutes. Does she expect people to stare being that weight? Isn't this setting one's self up as a victim? And how is someone like myself to feel who is 500lbs who this woman would be functional and "thin" in comparison to?
People stared at me. When I was near 700lbs, I lived in a big city, and well they looked, I was so unique, it was like the circus came to town as I bumbled down the sidewalk at a huge weight. I had to learn to get used to it, and had the attitude "Give them something to look at!" I know today if I am "new" somewhere, I can get the CURIOSITY looks and yes I even get the RUDE looks, every supersized fat person knows. Today I weigh less, but I am still hugely fat and I am tromping around with a hearing aid, a leg double the size of the other and either a cane or a walker. When I go without the walker, I trumble around from side to side with the cane, because my balance is gone so I do not have a normal gait. One thing being an artist myself, my dress style is different, and well I do stand out, and do not wear what people consider "average fashion", think "hippie art teacher" in long dresses. I dress for myself. Yes I sure do, I wear what is comfortable to me and what I LIKE.
She is young, well 7 years younger then me, one thing when you grow old enough, there is less gawking. There is a lot of older and fatter people out there. Past a certain age, it just doesn't matter. Once you enter "grandma" territory, even if you are childless, there does seem to be less judgment out there based on your looks. That said however why walk around in pain from people judging your looks?
My balding head, skin sores, and almost 700lb body was a trial by fire, that allowed me to bust open the locks on the beauty prison and escape for good. I wonder if I walk around now imparting the viewpoint it doesn't matter. Look all you want if you want. Some may say, hey you've left your mug off your own blog for over three years. I posted one picture of my body on here. But isn't that the point? Why should EVERYTHING be about our looks? I want my looks to take backseat to what I have to say. Now what would I say to this lady if I ever met her? I would say, "you are healthy, you are only mildly overweight, you have a good career as an art professor, life's not that bad!"
Maybe life for me has been easier having spent my life living in two smaller towns, the last one quite small and this one just a bit larger. If a place is small enough, you do ebb into the background with time, everyone's seen you so you are no longer a "shock" or a "curiosity".
I went around my last town and this one, not really even thinking about anyone looking at me. The last time anyone made fun of me overtly, was two times in the last five years. I had this woman at the library give me this horrified look of disgust who turned giggling to her friend next to her, and this woman at a health class for the elderly and disabled say mean things to me for being fat. So it's going to happen. What do you do? Try and stand up for yourself and move to the nice people. There is always going to be someone who doesn't like someone for the way they look or even are.
I just don't buy this idea that a size 18 woman in American society is being stared at for being fat when the AVERAGE American woman is only 3 sizes off. Take pictures of me walking around, let's see what happens, people in small towns smile at each other. I'd like to catch pictures of people SMILING at me. Am I crazy? The auto shop man smiled at me, the waitress did, the people at book club, when I last got out and around.
Could I make an art show of that? Look I know fat discrimination exists but looks aren't everything. Be someone beyond your looks. Does anyone understand what I mean here? Those other people in the crowd even if they are not fat they have troubles too.