Over two years ago, Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc embarked on an ambitious quest to document diverse examples of beauty around the world through stunning portraits of women from more than 37 countries. Her journey has taken her to a diverse range of lands, including Tibet, Iran, Brazil, and the US, but her latest destination is particularly noteworthy–none other than North Korea, the isolated and rarely photographed East Asian nation.
Traveling to cities like Pyongyang, Sinuiju, and Wonsan, Noroc had the remarkable opportunity to expand her series The Atlas of Beauty to include the women of North Korea. Her subjects range from waitresses to students to factory workers, providing a unique look at some of the 24.9 million people who live in the country.
“North Korean women are not familiar with global trends, but this doesn’t mean that they are not preoccupied with their look. They are, definitely!” the photographer wrote on Bored Panda. “They have a passion for high heels and usually wear classic outfits, always accompanied by a pin, on the chest, representing one of the country’s leaders. During celebrations and other special occasions, they wear traditional colorful outfits.”
Noroc is raising funds via Indiegogo so she can continue her travels around the world until she has enough material for a book. She says, “My goal is to continue and take photos of women from each country of the globe, showing that beauty is in our differences.”