Written By: Lucy Draper 27/1/16
“After photographing women in more than 45 countries I can say that beauty is everywhere, and it’s not a matter of cosmetics, money, race or social status, but more about being yourself.”
So writes Mihaela Noroc, a 30-year-old Romanian photographer who, for the last three years, has been travelling the world and taking pictures of striking and beautiful women she comes across. The goal? To highlight the beauty of female diversity.
From Chile to Iran, Uzbekistan to Myanmar, Romania to Cuba, Mihaela has already captured images of hundreds of women and girls, and is currently seven months into her second tour of the globe for the project, which she has titled “The Atlas of Beauty.”
During her first 15-month trip, which Mihaela mainly funded herself, she visited 30 countries across Asia, Oceania, Europe and South, Central and North America, photographing women in the streets, in their homes and in their places of work. She began her second trip in June last year with the aim of covering a similar number of countries, bringing her total up to 60.
The project has grown exponentially since its inception in 2013. Mihaela’s photos have been featured in a wide variety of media includingCNN, Forbes and Buzzfeed. Even the Queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey, has done a short section about the project.
In autumn last year, Mihaela spent nine days in North Korea and was able to take the pictures of almost 30 women there, despite the country being notoriously private.
Speaking to the Guardian about the trip, Mihaela commented that “In most countries I’ve observed that women smile in front of the camera and that tended to be the case when I shot women in North Korea – but here I tried to find something more profound, to get them to open up and reveal something more authentic, to see a story in their eyes.”
The photographer has said that she wants her photos to be viewed as an alternative, if not an antidote, to the endless images of conflict that people see in the newspapers and on television.
“Everyday, when we watch mass media, we see an Atlas of Wars, Conflicts and Fear [sic],” Mihaela writes. “People are fighting just because they are different, because they have a different religion, culture or race. More than ever, I think our world needs an Atlas of Beauty to show that diversity is something beautiful, not a reason for conflict.”
Click through to see some of Mihaela’s photos and read more about her “The Atlas of Beauty.”
Source: Refinery 21