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  #1  
Old 25 April 2013, 08:58 PM
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Cheer Pictures of people who mock me

For years, strangers have made fun of me for being fat. But I got my power back -- by turning the camera on them

http://www.salon.com/2013/04/23/pict...o_mock_me/?upw

Fascinating.
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  #2  
Old 25 April 2013, 09:00 PM
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I hope those cops got in trouble.
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  #3  
Old 25 April 2013, 09:12 PM
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Sigh. Why do i have to read the comments. Why?????

Everything from people calling her a liar to saying she's going to die and it's our evolutionary imperative to find fat people disgusting

And, yeah, LL, I hope someone turned those nfbskwads in.

I'd be interested in seeing more of the shots/
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  #4  
Old 25 April 2013, 09:27 PM
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The trouble is, with her camera set up 'in plain sight' either on a tripod or being operated by her assistant, *we* cannot know how evident the camera is and to what degree some of the people are reacting to the camera set-up, trying to work out what it's about, trying to react to it, spoil it, be part of it.
I take her point that she hears the comments, but I dunno... I have never seen or heard people commenting on someone else's size in public, and I used to hang with someone considerably larger than the photographer. I don't doubt her word, but that kind of reaction is so unfamiliar to me that it is impossible to imagine. I dunno, maybe my erstwhile friend heard comments when she wasn't with other people and engrossed in her own conversations.
Anyway, part of my discomfort with the whole project was this:
Quote:
I’m fine with who I am and don’t need anyone’s approval to live my life.
It just doesn't seem to ring true, it reads to me like she feels the need to justify her size, which doesn't feel like her being 'fine'.
Also, I didn't get how hypothyroidism was beyond control. I have it, it's controlled. I'm overweight because I eat more than I use.

Last edited by Moku; 25 April 2013 at 09:30 PM. Reason: explaining myself a bit better.
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  #5  
Old 25 April 2013, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moku View Post
I take her point that she hears the comments, but I dunno... I have never seen or heard people commenting on someone else's size in public, and I used to hang with someone considerably larger than the photographer. I don't doubt her word, but that kind of reaction is so unfamiliar to me that it is impossible to imagine.
Back when I was younger and far less confidant about my body and life, I would garner all sorts of cruel comments from total strangers. In the space of a month I heard something along the lines of "Hey [to their companion] no wonder she's a cow, look at what she's eating!" along with "[Snickering] That salad ain't going to help, lady, why not have what you really want?" I was flat-out told in a changing room at the swimming pool that I had better be wearing a "modest suit" because no one wanted to see "all of that mess." Thankfully things changed in my life, and I got my confidence back. Despite weighing slightly more than I did back then, and despite wearing fashionable clothes that - horror of horror - show off some of my chest and arms people seem to keep the cruelty to themselves. It pisses me off to realize they weren't just picking on me, they were picking on me when I wasn't mentally able to defend myself.

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Originally Posted by Moku View Post
Also, I didn't get how hypothyroidism was beyond control. I have it, it's controlled. I'm overweight because I eat more than I use.
Not everyone has health insurance. Even if a my levothyroxine is a $4 generic prescription, I can't get it filled without an $80 dollar doctor's appointment to have it renewed. ETA: It also took more than one try (with unpleasant and expensive blood work) to pin down the correct dose, which promptly changed when another of my medications was increased, starting the cycle of fasting blood draws and prescription changes all over again.
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  #6  
Old 25 April 2013, 09:48 PM
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As I say, I don't doubt her word on the comments, just trying to express that it is beyond my experience. (BTW, I'm no lightweight, at 13 stone)

Re the insurance, I know that not everyone has it. But I would imagine that an assistant professor who does lots of foreign travel can cover those costs? But again, I appreciate it is a different cultural perspective, my Levothyroxine comes at no charge to me and on a repeat script that I collect at 2 month intervals. Likewise the annual GP check to renew the prescription.
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  #7  
Old 25 April 2013, 09:49 PM
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I would say the story isn't as she claims.

She isn't that large for one. She's heavy but not enough to draw attention because of it.

Most the photos don't appear to show what she claims. The last one it looks like two people are looking at her but she's being odd.

I don't get the cop one. It doesn't make sense.
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  #8  
Old 25 April 2013, 09:59 PM
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What's odd about what she's doing in the last picture? It looks to me like she's holding a cell phone or small point-and-shoot digital camera, preparing to take/having just taken a photo.
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  #9  
Old 25 April 2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Going through the film, I noticed an image with a man standing behind me. There he is, being photographed by a woman who appears to be quite beautiful, standing in the middle of the sensory assault that is Times Square. But at the moment the shutter is released, he is smirking at me. He clearly does not approve. This kind of moment had happened many times.
I will say, as someone who was constantly bullied and whispered about, it does tend to make you paranoid as an adult that everyone is still making fun of you. I believe that she does get cruel comments and looks (most women do, either for size or clothing or perceived promiscuity or whatever) but I have to wonder how much of it is her own perception that someone is smirking at her or whispering about her when they're not. I still struggle with this in my own life. (And what does the apparent beauty of the other woman have to do with anything? She didn't see this man, she had no idea what was going on, whether he even noticed her or was making a random face or responding to something totally unrelated to her.)

Also, as others have pointed out, the visible presence of a camera would draw attention to her and could affect the way people react. The cop photo, I don't know what's going on there -- the hat actually looks like it's floating in mid-air -- but if that happened, they should be reprimanded. The last photo, though, I don't see what's supposed to be problematic. Someone is looking in her direction?
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  #10  
Old 25 April 2013, 10:24 PM
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Reprimanded for what? We don't even know what's going on.

When I was in uniform people would ask us to do all sorts of silly things.

Could we handcuff their husband, their kids. Could we dance good with their friends. It's amazing what people would ask you to do.
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  #11  
Old 25 April 2013, 10:25 PM
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I think what's bugging me about this is that I don't feel she is being quite honest, though it may not be deliberate.
You don't need to look at much street photography to know that often people will turn to look at the person who looks to be the target of someone's lens. Where I feel she isn't being honest is that she doesn't, in the several versions of the article I have seen, discuss the three point dynamic. There is her, there is a camera and there is a bystander/passer-by. She presents it as a two point dynamic when she talks about the intent of the stare.
Also, she mentions that she gets a 'better' reaction when she is doing something. So she makes some effort at being noticeable, she wears bright red shoes, she affects an oddly twine toed stance which looks like a sarcastic version of a model's hip-drop, she sits motionless on a swing, she sits at a cafe table staring at a cake while a child stares at her. All in front of a camera in plain view, which takes hundreds of shots that she combs through for the good ones.
Fair enough she tells us all this in some form or another, but it is never the focus of the piece and doesn't feel like honest art to me.

Oh the cop hat, I meant to say... how that reads to me is the cop being a bit of a jerk and reacting to the fact that she is *having her photograph taken*, and doesn't know he is there. He's photobombing.
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  #12  
Old 25 April 2013, 10:35 PM
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And that was my basic point. She goes out of her way to create a spectacle then says look. Look. People looked!

Her dress will give her more looks then her weight.

Or her expression that she does. If you try to look or act odd people will notice.

As I tell the kid you can wear your tutu with rubber boots and a cape but don't complain if someone makes a comment you don't like. Of course I teach her she can express herself back though. That tends to shock people when a 12 expresses herself though.
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  #13  
Old 25 April 2013, 10:42 PM
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Looking at the photos on her website haleymorriscafiero.com, I'm convinced that she is projecting her thoughts and insecurities into the supposed reactions of other people. There is no way that all the people in her photos are making fun of her, or even necessarily noticing her. By her own admission, she takes hundreds of photos and looks for the one photo where someone's looking in her direction (usually while she's posing), or someone who happens to be passing by her with their mouth slightly agape, or a sour expression. In some of these photos I have no idea what I'm supposed to even find problematic.

In light of this, she's lost some sympathy from me. Yes, it's horrible when strangers make fun of you. But I just don't believe that's what's happening here. It's not all about you.

And the more I think about it, the more I find it somewhat offensive that she'd exhibit and publish these photos in order to "shame" these people who had the audacity to glance in her direction, when she admits she has no idea what they were thinking about.

Last edited by Cervus; 25 April 2013 at 10:51 PM.
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  #14  
Old 26 April 2013, 05:08 AM
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That's what bothered me too, Cervus. I don't snicker at fat people, but someone posing for a camera does tend to catch my eye, and I would be less than thrilled to discover I've become part of her project.
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  #15  
Old 26 April 2013, 09:25 AM
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The woman in the OP doesn't seem particularly fat, quite badly dressed maybe, but not fat. Reads more as a "woe is me" article than a genuine study of how people react.
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  #16  
Old 26 April 2013, 10:46 AM
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In most of them I can't even tell which of the people in the picture is supposed to be "mocking her". All of them? Given it's a fairly nasty accusation, it seems it should be clearer which of the people she's accusing.

And the last one - yes, a woman looking in her general direction and smiling in what looks like a friendly manner?

Even the one with the police and the hat looks more like a friendly joke knowing that she was taking a photograph than it does "mockery" to me. Regardless of whether it's appropriate for police to interact informally with people on their beat (apparently not in the USA) it seems on the level of pulling a silly face in the background, rather than anything nasty. How can she know that it's anything to do with her weight? And why is she posing like that?
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  #17  
Old 26 April 2013, 11:19 AM
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(Would have been an eta but I got distracted and missed the edit window) In fact, before I read the full setup and realised that the writer was actually one of the subjects of all the pictures, I had assumed - at least in the one with the ice cream - that she herself was supposed to be mocking the person behind the camera...
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  #18  
Old 26 April 2013, 11:42 AM
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I would end up in one of her photos just because I'd look at someone strangely for having someone photograph them standing there in public, but a super model would get the same reaction out of me.
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  #19  
Old 26 April 2013, 12:21 PM
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I really don't see the reactions in the photos. The one where the man is supposedly smirking looks to me like he's smiling at the blonde woman and blinked as the photo was taken.
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  #20  
Old 26 April 2013, 12:47 PM
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Yeah, it is her interpretation of reaction, through the lens of that quite defensive statement of being happy with who she is and not needing people's approval to live her life, that makes it all seem quite sad.
I wonder if this is quite the conversation she thought she was trying to start?
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