What Happened When A Woman Stopped Me On The Street To Take A Photo Of My Legs

This past November, I had an early start to my day in New York City. I had a 9 a.m. interview for a freelance writing job that ended with plenty of time to make the 20-minute walk uptown to my job that started at 10 a.m. I contemplated stopping for tea or a bagel to kill some time when a woman stopped me in the middle of a crosswalk. Thinking maybe she needed directions, I pulled over to the side and she said, “I love your skirt.” I was a bit confused. Why would this woman stop me in the middle of the street just to give me a compliment on my $20 skirt from Kohl’s?
She introduced herself as Stacey Baker and explained that she took pictures of women’s legs for her Instagram account. I could tell she had given this speech many times because she immediately whipped out her phone to show me her page, which was filled with tons of women all photographed from their waist down. I saw legs of all different shapes and sizes, wearing interesting leggings and killer pumps. My black and white skirt paired with mint green flats seemed to be boring in comparison. Stacey continued that the page was not meant to be sexual and of course if I was uncomfortable and didn’t want to participate, she understood. She also promised she’d let me see the pictures before she posted and if I didn’t want to be tagged, that was fine too.
You hear about these kinds of things happening in the city, but never to me. With time to kill anyway, I was intrigued and agreed.
Stacey and I walked a block or two to find a good background wall, talking about our jobs on the way. When we found a good spot, Stacey laid down a plastic bag so I could put my bag and jacket down without it touching the street. I went against the wall, and she instructed me to lift my arms above my head. Stacey squatted down and starting taking photos with her iPhone as passersby pretended not to think they were witnessing something strange.
Here’s the end product.
stace a lace legs
I did decide to let Stacey tag me in the photo after further investigating the page. I loved it, and so do over 70,000 other followers. I still double tap her posts when they come up on my feed. Sure, there were some weird comments on my pic – “Sloth face on her knees” (lol, I actually see it) and “What an interesting silhouette she has”(is that meant as a compliment?) – but they were mostly positive and focused on the picture, not my body.

“The fact that most women I approach are not only willing to stop, but also put their purse down, take off their coat, raise or tuck in their blouse and stand with their hands up — all for a complete stranger — never fails to amaze me,” Stacey recently told Slate.

A quick scroll through her page shows that there are all kinds of women photographed. Stacey even finds her most powerful photos to be her curviest. “I know they’re just pictures of women’s legs taken against a wall, but occasionally, the deconstructed legs look like something more,” she said. “And I like that more often than not, it’s fuller figures that achieve that, not the model-thin legs.”

Stacey has a book coming out this fall, so if you’re walking around the city, make sure you bottom half looks on point. You just might find yourself with your arms in the air getting photographed by a complete stranger.

Check out some of Stacey’s most captivating legs of the city below, and follow her on Instagram at @stace_a_lace).

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