In 2010 a photographer named Haley Morris-Cafiero set up a camera to take a self-portrait in Times Square.
She isn’t the first person to take a picture of herself in the iconic location nor will she be the last, but something about this picture was different.
Haley captured an attitude, written on the face of the man behind her.
In his face was the judgement and criticism that so often falls on women’s bodies when they have the audacity to go out in public.
“I looked at the images and found that a man was standing behind me and appeared to be sneering at me” she writes.
“I never thought that I would capture a glance that can last a microsecond.”
And so Hayley’s project – called Wait Watchers – was born.
Haley began taking her camera out in public and using it to capture the reactions of the world to her body as she goes about her daily routine. She walks past and they stare. They might sneer, they might look away in disgust. It’s only ever for a second but she captures it on her camera.
“I present the images to the world to start a conversation. While I do not know what the passersby is thinking, I attempt to reverse the gaze back onto the stranger.”
When the images went viral, the Internet responded, with comments section overflowed with criticisms of Haley’s body. Her face, her clothes, her hair.
“I love my body and these unsolicited criticisms fuelled me to make new images.”
Have a look at her work in the gallery below.
Haley has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to have the images made into a book. you can find out more or contribute here.