This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!
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This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures of Women to See How Beauty is Defined Around the World!

Mihaela Noroc quit her job in Romania in 2013 and made the bold decision to go backpacking around the world full-time. During the following 3 years, Noroc traveled to every continent (except Antarctica), visiting a total of 50 countries. She spent those years taking pictures of women to see how beauty is defined around the world.

She calls this photographic series Atlas of Beauty.

More than ever, I think our world needs an Atlas of Beauty to show that diversity is something beautiful, not a reason for conflict,” Noroc explains, “I hope that the portraits from The Atlas of Beauty can challenge many misconceptions that exist around the world.”

One of the most impressive abilities Noroc has besides courage and talent is that she is proficient in five languages. That helped her tremendously as she was able to easily interact with the people she photographed. When she didn’t speak the local language, she communicated via translators or had to rely on body language alone.

At the moment, Noroc is hoping to fund her journey further and wants to collect enough photographs by 2017 to publish a book. You can follow Noroc’s trip and view more of her work on her Facebook and Tumblr accounts.

Keep scrolling to see some of her amazing images.

Below: This is Mihaela Noroc posing in Bogotá, Colombia. She is a 30-year-old photographer traveling the world taking photographs of women from different countries and cultures.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc has spent three years traveling for her “Atlas of Beauty” series. This woman was photographed on the streets of Moldova.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “I walk hours every day, in very different environments and I try to find relevant faces and stories for each place,” Noroc says. This woman was in Peru.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: She also finds subjects online. Sometimes she’s invited back to their homes. Here, an Ecuadorian woman poses in her living room.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: This woman sells things in the market in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc photographed women in the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. “Although they live in a rough and isolated environment, Wakhi people are amazingly welcoming and friendly,” she says.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: So far, Noroc has been to around 50 countries. Here, a woman smiles in Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: She tries to capture each woman in her surroundings. This woman was snapped in Thorunn, Iceland.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “I prefer to photograph natural faces, without a lot of make-up,” Noroc says. Here, a woman sits at a tea house in Istanbul, Turkey.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc says this Ethiopian woman is a Muslim, but her best friend is Christian. “While traveling in Ethiopia in February, I admired the way Christians and Muslims got along,” she says, “But in the same country, there are dozens of terrible ethnic conflicts.”

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc visited the Amazon Rainforest in Kichwa, Ecuador and took pictures of the women there.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: She has been expanding her project to include a wider range and diversity of subjects, both old and young. This picture was taken in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “In some countries I approach 10 women and maybe only one accepts,” she says, “In other places, everybody accepts.” This was in Maori, New Zealand.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “Usually, in Western countries, I’m never refused [when I ask to take a picture],” Noroc says. This woman poses in Harlem, New York.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: An Uzbek woman in Kyrgyzstan.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Here, a Buddhist nun poses in Kathmandu, Nepal.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc photographed this woman in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: This woman is a computer engineer from Cairo, Egypt.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Traveling across the Java Sea in Indonesia.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Going to North Korea was like “stepping [onto] a totally different planet, with different rules,” Noroc says. This woman was photographed in Pyongyang, North Korea.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: This woman was spotted in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc says this woman in Guangzhou, China, was on her way to the hospital with her mother and husband to give birth.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A woman standing on a pier in the Baltic Sea, Finland.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A painter in her studio in Valparaiso, Chile.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A woman poses on the streets of Havana, Cuba.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A ballerina displays her talent in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “For me, beauty is diversity, [it’s] what makes us unique,” Noroc says, “I also believe that beauty can teach us to be more tolerant.” Below, a woman in the streets of Iran.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A young woman in Cape Town, South Africa.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A woman in Oxford, UK.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Wearing traditional dress in Otavalo, Ecuador.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “[In India] I photographed subjects from very different environments,” Noroc says, “from poor women living in slums to Sonam Kapoor, one of the most popular Indian actresses.” Here, an Indian woman poses at a train station.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A young woman in Medellin, Colombia.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “Many people tell me how the project changed the way they see beauty and diversity,” Noroc says. A woman on the streets of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Still, her project has received criticism for showing a narrow a definition of beauty. “There is also negative feedback sometimes, but you have to accept it, even if you find it unfair,” she says. Below, a redheaded woman posing in San Francisco, USA.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “The internet can make you very popular but also very exposed to different opinions,” she says, “which is not bad, in the end.” A blond woman outside a home in Latvia.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A Tibetan woman in the Sichuan Province, China.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: A mother and her son pose in Australia.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc hopes to publish an Atlas of Beauty book after another year of traveling. This woman was photographed in Rio de Janeiro. This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: “There is much more diversity in the world, waiting for me, and I love to discover it. It’s an infinite treasure,” she says. Below, a woman in Myanmar.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc also traveled around her home country of Romania. Here, a ceramic art student in a workshop in Cluj, Romania.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

Below: Noroc plans to continue to travel the world with just her backpack and camera. Her next stop? Greece.

This Photographer Spent 3 Years Taking Pictures Of Women To See How Beauty Is Defined Around The World!

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