Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wait Watchers

This article is fascinating (and horrifying).   is an artist (who also happens to be overweight).  Her current project is capturing stranger's reaction to her in public.  I can't believe that she is able to capture these moments--her assistant is there with a camera in public shooting and people....well...they are just kind of jerks. Luckily, as I mentioned, her assistant is capturing it all on film and you can see just the kind of reaction that Haley (and other overweight women) is faced with everyday.


  1. This is a HOTTT (triple T topic) for me. I've spent a good portion of my life being abused verbally by strangers and sometimes even my friends because of my weight. I used to be so hurt and angry about this sort of thing when it would happen. I never had a name for it, I just took it personally and saw this as a way that I was unacceptable in society.

    Only in the last couple of years did I learn that there is a name for it "Fat Shaming" However the shaming isn't just aimed at fat people, any body shaming for that matter is not okay. What gives me the right as a fat person to say to a skinny person "Go buy a sandwich" none at all.

    However, I saw this and a few other videos a few weeks ago and I was fascinated at the lack of sympathy I felt for her. I'm actually shocked by it. Every day I make a choice to love myself and look for the good in myself. Some days are harder than others, but still I make the choice. Since I started really loving myself and accepting myself for the flaws that I have I've actually not felt the need to give attention and value to people who choose to say things about my weight. I know I'm fat, they know I'm fat...looks like we are all on the same page here folks.

    Doing something like this doesn't solve the issue. Shaming them back for their lack of manners is not the answer. Maybe I've lost the plot here, but I just don't see how this "solution" makes it any better.

  2. I'm still thinking about this and I keep coming back wanting to say more....surprised?

    I guess the thing that bugs me is that she's assuming that people are making fun of her being fat because she is fat. When there is something you don't like about yourself, say maybe your weight, there you have a tendency to take anything done towards you as a statement towards that as well. I keep looking at the photos and I just don't see that anyone is outright making fun of her. If I walked around all day thinking that anyone who so much as glances in my direction is making a judgement about me and my body, well I probably wouldn't be able to stand leaving the house.

    Maybe I'm just playing devils advocate here but take the cop photo for is him putting a hat over her head making a statement about her weight? I mean really, maybe if he were puffing out his cheeks and and gesturing, but he's not. I actually see the photo as him being playful and probably being aware that there was someone taking her photo. I would imagine that he thought he was being funny, not that he was going to be put on public display for making fun of this woman because she is fat. I don't see the connection...and I'm a fat person. Even the main photo of the guy getting his picture taken, it seems like he is just looking down and smiling. I don't see that as anything more than that. Perhaps her point could have been better shown in a video which could capture the context of the situation, rather than a photo which only captures a still of the situation, which is clearly open to her very personal interpretation

    If you make a point of seeing the bad in everyone around you then you will always find it. ALWAYS.

    I'm not saying that theses things don't happen to people. They do I know they do, because they have and still happen to me and will probably continue happening to me. But now when someone looks at me, my first instinct is not "they are looking at me because I am fat" I think they are looking at me because I am a woman who is learning to love herself and is comfortable in her body and clothes.

    I honestly can't believe I have posted a second comment about this, but it really has stayed on my mind.

    1. Marcey,
      You, of course, bring up a perfect point. Two wrongs do not make a right. Shaming people for fat shaming her doesn't make her right. I don't think it's at all weird that you came back to comment a second time. I've thought about it too. I was already half way through a response to your first comment when you made your second one.

      Your comment about the police man is dead on. I also thought the same thing about the girl who was 'smacking her stomach.' I'm not sure that's mocking Haley for her weight.

      None the less, I loved the article and images (in a love/hate kind of way) for two reasons. 1) I lived more than half of my life as a fat girl. I have also been fat shamed by friends and strangers alike (the one friend from high school who told me that she and all of my friends had gotten together and decided that I would be really pretty if I were just thin. Yeah. Totally happened). I think there is a whole portion of the population that doesn't know that kind of thing happens. I loved the images for attempting to show that it does happen.

      2)They also made me think about how I look at other people. I live in a place where I am surrounded by people who are so different than I am. I see people and things everyday that fascinate me. I don't think we need to be ashamed of looking at other people and the world around us. These images made me think about the expressions on my face as I look at the world around me and the people in it. Today at the zoo there was a darling family where the three kids were adopted and a different race than their mom standing next to us in line. As I stood next to them I thought of these images and I was sure to smile at them and have a facial expression that matched how I felt as I looked around (I wasn't staring or anything but dang. those babies and their hair were incredible). We chatted for a moment and I realized that if I hadn't recently looked at these images I might have had a different facial expression (just my typical staring into space exhausted face) and the mom might have interpreted me differently. We would have missed the opportunity to share quick baby zoo tips.

  3. I love this. The article, Marc's comments--yes, both of them my dear :) , and this woman's project. I like that she is using her talents to capture something that is rampant around the world for anyone who is "different." Her use of photography is, to me, more lasting than a poem, a drawing, a video... In an instant so much is shown about how society views different people.

    Her experience is not new. Its something nobody talks about--at least not in a socially acceptable, over the dinner table sort of way. I love though that she is using non-violent or abrasive means to speak loudly against something so hurtful.

    I hope that as we raise our kids we can help dissipate how they will see people who may be different from them or who aren't the norm. A few years ago, a cousin from a small town in southeastern Idaho (pop. 275) attended a softball game of my youngest sister in our hometown in the Las Vegas valley. As a teammate got up to bat, my dear cousin, who was 18 at the time, gasped in shock and said under her breath, "Oh! She's black!" Thus was the first time had ever seen anyone in person who was not white or a local Mexican farmhand and she was quite literally in shock. As I've heard this story and talked to my dear cousin, I just have to laugh that that there are still places where the world can seem so accessible with the Interwebs et al, and yet so small. Her response was "normal" to something she'd never seen before, but because it was a reaction to a person who has feelings and to something we didn't find odd, it would seem more harsh to an outsider who didn't know that she didn't mean anything rude.

    As individuals, however, we can control how we act and think to things or people who are different from us. I like that this woman is using her talents individuals to help show us this.