The Atlas of Beauty is a photography project by Mihaela Noroc. She had visited many countries and gathered photographs of women from all over the world. These photographs were collected and published in a 352-page book. On September 26th, 2017, the book, which contains 500 portraits of women from around 50 countries, was released. She had been traveling for years with her backpack and camera, taking these photos, and now her work is finally published.
KATHMANDU, NEPAL. Sona is celebrating Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, and among the most spectacular gatherings I witnessed in my travels. A time to forgive and to be forgiven, Holi marks the coming of spring, when good triumphs over evil.
She had taken photographs of various women of various ages and sizes. Mihaela had previously stated that beauty lies in one’s differences and that being oneself, natural, and authentic is important. It’s also not about trends, race, or social status, he added. She also mentioned that while traveling, she noticed that women are under a lot of pressure to look and act a certain way. She went on to say that women in some countries are pressured to look beautiful, while women in others are pressured to be modest. And she had stated that every woman should feel free to express her feelings rather than feeling compelled to do so by marketing campaigns, trends, or social norms.
The true beauty, it is said, comes from within, inspiring serenity and humanity. And that our insides would be more visible if our outsides were more natural and authentic. Had stated that we must learn to be our true selves and that in order to do so, we must allow others to be their true selves.
TEHRAN, IRAN. Her name is Mahsa, which means “like a moon” in Persian. When she was an adolescent, her father insisted that she study to become a doctor, but Mahsa was more interested in the arts and she chose to become a graphic designer. She is proud that from the time she turned eighteen, she has been financially independent, and soon plans to open her own firm.
Noroc claimed that as a foreigner, she was warmly welcomed in Iran, and that the women enjoyed being photographed. And she had stated that it was one of the few countries outside of the Western world where she was rarely refused a photograph. Noroc expressed her hope that her book would find its way into many homes around the world, persuading people that diversity is a treasure rather than a source of conflict and hatred. We are very different, she said, but we are both members of the same family. The book is out for pre-order on Amazon and for international retailers check her website.
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND. : I met Thorunn in her hometown on a freezing day. But her warm personality made me forget the cold. A popular singer in Iceland, she was also a new mom to a baby girl, whom she wants to grow up happy and confident. So Thorunn started an online community called “Good Sister,” which drew a third of the women in her country to join in support of one another by sharing their stories and giving encouragement.
#5 There are 500 portraits of women in the book
NEW YORK, USA. Abby and Angela are sisters with an Ethiopian mother and a Nigerian father. Both parents worked for the United Nations so the sisters grew up in six different countries, on three different continents. This gave them a broad perspective and allowed them to see where need was the greatest. After graduation, they both plan to move to Africa and put their knowledge in the service of that amazing continent.
#6 She had started this project in 2013 after inspired by a trip to Ethiopia
DELPHI, GREECE. On a normal day, Eleni works in her family’s restaurant. But once a year, she dresses like this for Easter. It’s fascinating to see that, despite the fact that Greece is a modern country, it preserves many of its ancient traditions.
PARIS, FRANCE. I met Imane at an art exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, her favorite place to dream, before she had to leave for a job interview. She is studying art at a university and also works in three restaurants and does some babysitting to support herself. But she wants to someday have an art gallery, one that will bring together artists from different cultures. She has African and European roots and loves the diversity of the world.
#10 Noroc had visited over 50 countries and taken photographs in each of them.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY. During my travels, I’ve met so many stunning women who told me they don’t feel beautiful at all. Influenced by the way the media depicts beauty, many people feel pressured to follow a certain standard of beauty. But that’s not the case with Pinar.
She is Turkish Cypriot and has long dreamed of becoming a theatre actress. So, she moved from Cyprus to Turkey, worked hard and fulfilled her dream. While she loves playing different roles on stage, in real life, she adores being herself, natural and free. In the end, beauty is about being yourself, something people like Pinar prove to be true.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO. Captain Berenice Torres is a helicopter pilot for the Mexican Federal Police. This brave woman, who is also a mother, is part of a special forces unit to fight drug cartels, or to rescue people from natural disasters
RAMALLAH, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES. Amal—her name means “hope” in Arabic—is Palestinian, but has lived in Saudi Arabia from age five, when her family moved there. “One year ago, I came back to Palestine for my studies. I really feel at home here. I feel I can become the woman I want to be.”
#13 Norac had said that she wants to honor the wonderful women in the world
NAMPAN, MYANMAR. For many people around the world, this is what shopping looks like. They don’t have their own cars, or big homes, or bank accounts. But most of them are great examples of dignity, strength, generosity, and honesty. If more of those who have fortunes and power would learn from these wonderful people, we would live in a much better world.
#15 Beauty is about being yourself
WEST JERUSALEM, ISRAEL. When I saw her walking on the street, I briefly thought that we had gone back in time. Rikki loves to wear vintage clothes and is very creative. She was born in Russia to a Jewish family and decided to move to Jerusalem.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. Awhile ago, Jade took out a loan, bought a professional camera, and started to learn photography. She dreams of traveling and taking photos all over the world. I had the same dream—and it came true.
MILAN, ITALY. Caterina began dancing when she was three years old. Her mother, Barbara, was supportive, but knew that there were few opportunities to study ballet in their small town so, although her husband and son stayed behind, she moved with Caterina to Milan, where her daughter could fulfill her dream and attend one of the most esteemed schools in the world. Art requires huge sacrifices, but imagine how Barbara feels today seeing Caterina dancing on the celebrated stage of La Scala.
#18 The book is out on Amazon for pre-order
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