The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women

'Beauty is about being yourself, and keeping your cultural heritage'

Camilla Brugrand
Thursday 19 February 2015 16:41

The Atlas of Beauty is a project which aims to challenge the ideals of beauty dictated by the women’s fashion magazine industry.

Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc travelled to 37 countries in search of diverse female beauties in their twenties to prove than beauty can only be measured by the eyes that are looking.

“I see many young people trying to be somebody else, to copy global trends, instead of being themselves, keeping their unique genes and cultural background. There is a lot of pressure to look in a certain way, and my message is that an original is always better than a copy.”

She came up with the concept during a journey to Ethiopia. This country showed fascinating women keeping their traditions alive without paying attention to global trends.

“I realised that beauty is about being different, yourself and keeping your cultural heritage.”

The women who were approached by Noroc reacted differently to the project, some were happy, while others were hard to convince.

“There were funny moments when I was showing them my photos and they didn’t believe that are taken by me. The fact that I’m a woman too helped a lot. In the beginning, I was really nervous and I was taking all the refusals personally.”

“In my opinion, beauty means to keep alive your origins and your culture and to be natural, sincere, authentic, particular, not necessary fashion or skinny,” she said.

“I want to show to the world, that we can be different and being yourself is the best bet you can make.”

The project was funded through Noroc’s savings, but money has now run out and she is trying to get funding for the project to continue.

“It was not a lot of money. I was always on a budget, staying with locals and using cheap transportation.”

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