Photographer Continues Quest to Document the Diversity of Beauty Around the World

A year ago, we shared the incredible story of Mihaela Noroc–a photographer who quit her job, withdrew her savings, and embarked on a mission to capture portraits of women from every country in the world. The ambitious, ongoing project highlights beauty that exists everywhere, in densely-populated cities as well as remote villages. Aptly-titled The Atlas of Beauty, Noroc documents her travels through stunning portraits of ladies in places where they live and work. Most recently, she was in East and Southeast Asia in countries such as India, Mongolia, and China.

Noroc finds beauty in those who stay true to their origins and culture, living as their authentic self. It's not necessarily about fashion, but rather about being sincere and natural. “Global trends make us look and behave the same,” she explains, “but we are all beautiful because we are different. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is always somebody else.” The Atlas of Beauty is Noroc's way of recording the incredible diversity of the human population while we still can. “Maybe in 50 years all women from all around the world will dress and act the same,” she writes. “I hope my project will remain a witness of my era's cultures and traditions.”

Noroc has more places she'd like to document. “My goal is to continue for many years and to study beauty in all countries of the globe, if possible, making this Atlas a project known around the world and an inspiration for all women that try to be themselves.”

Above: Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan

Sichuan Province, China

Amritsar, India

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Amazon Rainforest

Istanbul, Turkey

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Kathmandu, Nepal

Varanasi, India

Mongolia

Yangon, Myanmar

Kathmandu, Nepal

Mongolia

Sichuan Province, China

Mihaela Noroc: Website | Instagram | Facebook
via [Design TAXI]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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