Photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero Captures Cruel Reactions in Her Public Self-Portraits

by Katrina Pallop

Photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero turns her feelings of discomfort and awkwardness into striking images in her project, Wait Watchers. The photographs depict Morris-Cafiero, an obese woman, performing everyday tasks and actions in public. Using a tripod and self-timer, she is able to capture self portraits that are often rendered heartbreaking by cruel passers-by in the background. 

Having struggled with her weight all her life, Morris-Cafiero is well aware of the unabashed stares and rude remarks she attracts in public spaces. Wait Watchers captures some of those unkind reactions as they occur around her. What’s so astonishing about these photos is that Morris-Cafiero is doing nothing in them but occupying space in the world; and yet, the responses of those around her are unapologetic breaks with courtesy. 

The reactions that Morris-Cafiero captures in her shots range from subtle to outrageous. She has been working on the Wait Watchers series since 2010, and has traveled around the world to document her encounters. The result is an astounding record of quiet intolerance and everyday cruelty. 


Photos via

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