Back in 2010, Haley Morris-Cafiero set up a camera in Times Square to take a self-portrait. But when she looked back at the picture, she got an unwelcome surprise.
In the image, a man appears to be sneering at her. "I never thought that I would capture a glance that can last a microsecond," Haley shares. "Since then, I have been setting up a camera in public to see if I can capture the gazes of the strangers who walk by me while I am doing everyday, mundane acts."
The results of her experiment are jarring. While not everyone takes notice of her, the disdain on others' faces is truly heartbreaking.
"I present the images to the world to start a conversation," Haley writes on the Kickstarter page she started to publish a book of her portraits. "While I do not know what the passersby is thinking, I attempt to reverse the gaze back onto the stranger."
Sharing her photos with the public hasn't been easy. One critic wrote, "People are staring because she's a slovenly unkempt blob with ratty hair and unkempt clothes and a dumb vaguely suicidal expression on her bovine face..."
"Most of the comments and emails said that my life (and in some cases the world) would be better if I lost weight and got a makeover," Haley reveals. "I love my body and these unsolicited criticisms fueled me to make new images."
Keep staying positive, girl!
To see more of Haley's photos and to donate to her campaign, head over to her Kickstarter page.
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