This Artist Photographed Women In 60 Countries To Alter The Way We See Beauty

These 15+ images might just change the way you perceive beauty.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is a phrase many of us have heard multiple times. But what, exactly, does it mean? Simply, beauty is subjective. As a result, the character traits and physicality of one individual may or may not be viewed favorably by another.

While there are no harms to having preferences, what is harming is a society pushing one “ideal” body type and appearance on the mass culture to promote conformity. Just because people look different does not make them any less beautiful — and this is a truth photographer Mihaela Noroc seeks to share with the world.

For four years, the Romanian photographer has been traveling the world with a backpack and camera. The purpose? Photograph “everyday women” and collect their stories. The images and stories have since been published in the project, entitled The Atlas of Beauty.

Noroc wrote on Bored Panda,

“My goal is to show that every woman shines like a star because beauty is diversity, and not just what we see in mass-media. For me, the real beauty has no age, colours or trends. You can find it in Africa or in Europe, in a village or in a skyscraper, in a smile, in a gesture, in an intense gaze, in some wrinkles, or in a story. You can find it in every kind-hearted human being.”

The Atlas of Beauty is now a stunning book with upwards of 500 portraits and accompanying stories.

Wrote Noroc, “In a time of hate and intolerance, I want to send a message about love and acceptance. I hope this book will get into many homes around the world, convincing more people that diversity is a treasure and not a trigger for conflicts and hate. We are very different but at the same time we are all part of the same family.”

Following are 15+ photographs that just might change the way you perceive beauty:

#1 Kathmandu, Nepal

Sona was celebrating Holi when I met her.


#2 Ethiopia

She is a Muslim and her best friend, another young woman who owns this small terrace, is a Christian. While traveling in Ethiopia, in February, I admired the way Christians and Muslims get along. I saw many beautiful friendships that go beyond religion.

#3 Tehran, Iran

Mahsa is a graphic designer and is proud of the fact that from the time she turned eighteen, she has been financially independent.

#4 Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan

She was working in the field in one of the most remote places of the world.

#5 Amazon Rainforest

She was wearing her wedding outfit.

#6 Baku, Azerbaijan

In a society dominated by men, where many women are still afraid to be photographed without asking permission from their husbands, things are changing. There are more and more Azerbaijani women who fight for gender equality and although they are now a minority, I’m sure they will soon be a majority. Fidan is one of these amazing women who would never start a relationship, if she wouldn’t be treated equally and respected.

#7 Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Maria was selling vegetables in the market of a small village.

#8 Pokhara, Nepal

It was a Sunday in 2015 and just like every weekend, many people from Pokhara, Nepal were spending their time around the splendid Phewa lake.

#9 Kathmandu, Nepal

She was walking with her son. She didn’t speak English, but he did. So I told him I wanted to photograph his mother. And he asked me why. ‘Because she’s beautiful.’ He proudly smiled and looked at his mother. ‘Yes, she is.’

#10 Nampan, Myanmar

I met this lovely lady at a local market.

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