The Watchers

Haley Morris-Cafiero, Amanda de Cadenet

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Wait Watchers is a photographic series that explores how overweight people are viewed in public. Using self-portraiture and performance, Morris-Cafiero depicts the gaze of strangers as they pass by her in public while she performs normal activities in the scene. The exact cause of the strangers’ stare and what they are thinking is not known. This research contributes to the topic of nonverbal communication and the view society has on body image.

The photographs were created from 2010 to 2015 in international locations (Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Peru, Spain, United States) to explore nonverbal communication of body image expectations that occurs in a variety of cultures and geographies. The photographs were not edited in postproduction software.

A small set of images from the series were published online in 2013 and went “viral” intermittently from 2013 to 2015 garnering a readership of over 250 million people.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanada
PublisherMagenta Foundation
Number of pages144
ISBN (Print)1926856074
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • self-portraiture
  • Performance
  • body positivity
  • Photography
  • Equality and diversity


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