My name is Mihaela Noroc, I'm a Romanian photographer who's been travelling the world for the past 4 years with my backpack and my camera, photographing everyday women and collecting their stories. My project is called The Atlas of Beauty.
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.
Now The Atlas of Beauty becomes a stunning book with more that 500 portraits and many interesting stories. 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.
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.
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.
Mahsa is a graphic designer and is proud of the fact that from the time she turned eighteen, she has been financially independent.
She was working in the field in one of the most remote places of the world.
Maria was selling vegetables in the market of a small village.
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.'
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.