This Photographer Took Photos of Women From 60 Countries to Change the Way We See Beauty

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Mihaela Noroc is a Romanian photographer with a mission to show that beauty can be found anywhere. She’s been travelling the world for 4 years to compile a book called ‘The Atlas of Beauty’ wherein she takes portraits of everyday women to prove that beauty lies in diversity. And everyone is beautiful in their own, individual way.

Her book now contains almost 500 portraits and interesting stories about the women she’s met along the way. Here are some of her best shots from around that world. These show that despite being different, we are all beautiful!

#1. Kathmandu, Nepal

#2. Ethiopia

#3. Tehran, Iran

#4. Baku, Azerbaijan

#5. Amazon Rainforest

#6. Colca Valley, Peru

#7. Maori from New Zealand

#8. Corfu Island, Greece

#9. Odessa, Ukraine

#10. Pushkar, India

#11. Abyaneh, Iran

#12. Istanbul, Turkey

Tutku is from Istanbul, Turkey. She experienced many heart breaking moments in her life, but her positive spirit always gave her the strength to move forward. Her mother had several miscarriages before giving birth to her. When she was a child, her father paralysed and Tutku had to start working for a living at an early age. Her determination paid off and a few years ago she became a chef. But again life hit her hard. One day Tutku totally lost her hearing. She went to many doctors but her case seemed hopeless. “Once, I was staying on my balcony. And I closed my eyes and said to myself: If, when I will open my eyes, I will see at least a bird on the sky that means I will hear again. I was afraid to open my teary eyes and I stayed a long time like that. When I finally had the courage to look on the sky, I saw two birds.” After a while Tutku received an innovative implant that provides a sense of sound. Now she can work again, as a chef, but her hearing is still weak and that’s a huge challenge in a busy restaurant. But Tutku didn’t complain, when we met. In the contrary: She was grateful for every second of her new life. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Turkey

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#13. Dushanbe, Tajikistan

#14. Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan

#15. Chichicastenango, Guatemala

#16. Berlin, Germany

#17. Idomeni Refugee Camp, Greece

#18. Kurdistan, Iraq

#19. Greece

Kalliopi from Greece wears an amazing old costume, inherited from her grandmother. While all year long she wears modern clothes and works for her family business, every third day of Easter she goes back to another era. She dresses in this spectacular outfit and dances along other women, in a small square of Megara, her town, like their ancestors used to do many years ago. The dance, called Trata, is performed once per year by women from Megara and helped locals keep their traditions during the ottoman rule. Even today Greece preserves many of its ancient traditions and it’s really amazing to see that in a modern place. My journey in this fascinating country continues. #Greece #AroundTheWorld #TheAtlasOfBeauty

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#20. Tibet

#21. Reykjavik, Iceland

#22. North Korea

#23. Delphi, Greece

#24. Buenos Aires, Argentina

#25. Petersburg, Russia

#26. Amman, Jordan

Dania is from Amman, Jordan. She's a trainer in the first self-defense studio for women in the Middle East. “Before I was really, really shy. In school nobody knew my name, not even my teachers. I was so timid I couldn’t even stand up in class and answer a question, even if I knew the answer very well. But Martial Arts changed my life. Now I’m doing workshops and I’m giving classes of self-defense. I don’t think I will have to use my skills outside trainings. People see that I’m confident, they feel I’m capable to defend myself.” When I entered in SheFighter studio a few months ago, I discovered an amazing initiative and a splendid sisterhood between women from different environments. That’s real empowerment, not just words. I will post more stories from this amazing place in the future. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Jordan

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#27. Havana, Cuba

#28. Wadi Musa, Jordan

Sara is a Bedouin woman from Wadi Musa, Jordan. "I was born in a tent. Back then we were nomads in the desert. We grew up in hard conditions, but we were happy. We were carrying heavy buckets of water every day for many, many kilometres. We didn’t buy anything. In the 80's our community decided to move to modern homes. Life is much more comfortable here. We have shops, houses, water, furniture, electricity, TV, everything. Now when a baby is born, the mother goes to the hospital. Back then we didn’t have doctors. But I actually really miss those times. I really miss that feeling of freedom from the desert. We were all the same, we were equal and selfless, not caring about money or other goods. We all shared the same home, the desert." #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Jordan #Bedouin

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#29. Paris, France

#30. Sardinia, Italy

#31. Nampan, Myanmar

#32. Edinburgh, Scotland

#33. Poland

You can’t imagine what a joyful woman is Ania. She has one of the most impressive stories that I ever heard. Ania was born in Poland, 24 years ago, without a right leg. Her mother abandoned her in the maternity hospital and begged a doctor to take care of her. “The doctor kept me illegally in the maternity hospital for many months. She knew that if I would be sent to an orphanage I could never have a normal life, in my situation.” When Ania was 19 months old, she was adopted by a Belgian family. "My parents are amazing. They adopted more children with disabilities and we all grew up happily in the countryside of Belgium, surrounded by animals from farms, enjoying nature. I always loved sports. As a kid, I had many adventures. I was running on the rocks and in the forests, I was always feeling free and independent. I broke my prosthetic several times. Back than it was impossible to have a proper one for sport, because I didn’t have a femur. Every night, before falling asleep, I was imagining myself running and running like an athlete. And my only dream was to have a proper prosthetic for sport. After a while, I started to think that if I will become an well known athlete, my biological mother will see me in the media and I will have the chance to find her in Poland. I really wanted to tell her that I never condemned her for what happened.” The second part of the story, soon. #AroundTheWorld #TheAtlasOfBeauty #Belgium #Poland #Inspiration #Sport

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#34. Afghanistan

#35. Amsterdam, Netherlands

#36. Cape Town, South Africa

Emma is from Cape Town, South Africa, where I met her some time ago. “I was about 6 years old. I remember being in our after school care program because my parents both worked late. The dance teacher came in and asked who'd like to start dancing and I said < Me! > " And that’s how Emma fell in love with dancing. When she was 13 years old, her parents couldn’t afford to pay the dancing course anymore so she had to quit. In the following years she felt that something was missing in her life. She could not listen to music without thinking about dancing. So she decided to put all her efforts into her passion. She got admitted to the Cape Academy of Performing Arts and started to practice dance hours after hours, every day. She was also working, to pay for the courses. Although she was exhausted at the end of each day, she was feeling complete and happy. After a while Emma started to have some pain on her neck. But her passion to dance was much stronger than the pain, so she didn’t pay attention to it. A few weeks ago the pain became worse and she went to see a doctor. That was a sad moment. The diagnosis made her realise that she cannot become a professional dancer. There are sometimes impassable obstacles on the way to our dreams. But at the end of every path, there’s the beginning of another one. We just have to keep hope alive, look around and see it. "I know I will still dance eventually, although just for fun!” says Emma. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #SouthAfrica #CapeTown #Dance

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#37. Bavaria, Germany

#38. Viana do Castalo, Portugal

Although Europe is one of the most modern places on earth, there are still communities here that keep their traditional celebrations. During these festivities, many people that normally dress modern, wear their traditional outfits, sometimes inherited from their ancestors. What is interesting is that besides older generations, many young people attend this festivals and keep in touch with their traditions. I visited such communities in Romania, Greece and a few days ago in Portugal. She is Carolina, from Viana do Castelo, a town from Northern Portugal. I took this photo a few days ago during the festivities of Our Lady of Agony, a celebration that dates from the 18th century. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Portugal

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#39. Stockholm, Sweden

#40. Dushanbe, Tajikistan

#41. Cairo, Egypt

#42. Chengdu, China

#43. Mumbai, India

I met Neelam a few weeks ago, in Mumbai, India. Since her childhood she's living in a tent, together with her family, next to a big market. Her father died, but her brave mother, who sells in the market, kept her in school with all the efforts. Even if her home is a sidewalk, I rarely saw such a warmth-hearted person, with such a positive energy and good education. She was not complaining about anything, she was not asking anything. Her smile, her dignity, her wisdom were a strong life lesson to me. I really felt privileged to meet such a beautiful person. And I also felt privileged for every single night I spent in a proper home. When I asked what is her biggest dream, she said she wants to study, to find a good job. That's all. But I think, deep in her soul, she was dreaming about a proper home too. I sent her story to different newspapers from India, I talked with an NGO and some trustworthy people want to help her. I really hope this photo will make a change in her life. I’m sure you also know at least a person like Neelam and maybe she/he also need a little bit of help. And it’s not always about money, but sometimes about setting a long-lasting path for the future. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #India #AroundTheWorld

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#44. Muramures, Romania

#45. Sichuan Province, China

#46. Istanbul, Turkey

She's Turkish and I photographed her in June, in Istanbul. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #Turkey #AroundTheWorld

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#49. Harar, Ethiopia

I took this photo in Harar, Ethiopia, three weeks ago.

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#50. Bishkek, Kyrgyztan

Before her performance in a traditional show, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. #theatlasofbeauty

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#51. Romania

#Maramures #Romania for #TheAtlasofBeauty #travel #tradition #diversity

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#52. Ecuador

#kichwa #woman for #TheAtlasofBeauty in #Amazon #jungle #Ecuador #naturallight

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This Photographer Took Photos of Women From 60 Countries to Change the Way We See Beauty

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