In contrast to the constant barrage of women’s fashion magazines declaring what is attractive, photographer Mihaela Noroc set off on a journey around the world.
The Romanian traveled to 37 different countries, where she often met women simply walking the street and took their portraits, highlighting what is considered desirable in different cultures.
From the freezing, chaffing Tibetan Plateau near the Himalayas to the sultry tropics of South America, Noroc, 29, entitled her startling and revealing project, ‘The Atlas of Beauty.’
At times spending only 30 seconds with each subject and traveling only with her camera and a backpack, Noroc tried to take pictures of young women all in their twenties.
She explained in a statement to Daily Mail Online ‘I’m a [29-year-old] female photographer from Romania that quit her boring job and started a new life. Two years ago I took my backpack, my camera and begun to travel around the globe, with savings made in years of working.
‘In this journey I photographed hundreds of natural women surrounded by their culture. My project is called ‘The Atlas Of Beauty’ and is about our planet’s diversity shown through portraits of women.’
Noroc said she visited a variety of locations, including favelas in Brazil and ‘rough neighborhoods of Colombia,’ as well as an Iranian mosque and the Amazon rainforest.
She said in her statement ‘Now 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.
‘Global directions make us look and behave the same, 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.’
Noroc added ‘When I photograph a woman I talk a lot, I try to to make her feel special, proud and unique. I can get along in 5 languages and this helps me a lot, but in some countries, talking becomes body language.
‘I prefer to photograph natural faces, without a lot of make-up, and to capture that moment of sincerity and serenity that is so specific for women.
‘Sometimes I have only 30 seconds to make a portrait, because I meet a interesting woman, by chance, on the street. Other times, I maybe spend one hour, photographing, after I found her on a social network, a day before.’
Noroc also addressed criticism that her subjects are solely young women.
‘Through ["The Atlas of Beauty,"] I wish to compare the faces of the world and to show that all the women from my photos have something beautiful,’ she said in the statement. ‘But the comparison has to be made using similar conditions and so I choose only one age group, the one that I’m part of. I think beauty is not about age. [It's] more about being natural and sincere.’
Noroc also revealed that ‘My goal is to continue and take photos of women from each country of the globe, making “The Atlas Of Beauty” a mirror of our diverse societies and an inspiration for people that try to remain authentic.
‘Maybe in 50 years all women from all around the world will dress and act the same. I hope my project will remain a witness of my era’s cultures and traditions.’
Noroc said she hoped to raise money so she could visit more countries later this year to continue working on ‘The Atlas of Beauty.’
Source: Daily Mail