The Atlas of Beauty

I came across a wonderful photography project today – The Atlas of Beauty by Michaela Noroc.

Michaela is a Romanian photographer who has travelled around the world to capture the true faces of female beauty in all its forms. Through this, she aims to showcase the diversity of beauty in our world.

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.

The inspiration for this came from a recent trip to Ethiopia.

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

In this album, I will regularly add interesting faces that I met by chance, on the street. Because The Atlas of Beauty means also images captured in few second with women from all around the world, in their everyday life.

So without further ado, here are the photos. Be sure to check out her wonderful Instagram and Facebook pages! All photos come from Michaela’s Facebook page.

The idea of The Atlas of Beauty was born two years ago. Then, in August 2013 I started a long trip with some savings gathered in a few years and my backpack.

I wanted to go round the world and capture natural and authentic feminine beauty.

Initially, the project was called Beauty Around the World, but then I changed it to The Atlas of Beauty, a name that expresses better the idea of doing for the first time ever, an encyclopedia of feminine faces and cultural diversity of the world.

In November 2014 I returned from my trip around the planet, after 15 months of searching, with a portfolio full of images, but with empty pockets. Now I am in Bucharest and I’m trying to raise funds to go on a new journey in the summer.

Each advice, suggestion, promotion, share can help me make new images.

Medellin, Colombia

Colca Valley, Peru

Los Angeles, US

Jakarta, Indonesia

Bagan, Burma

Ethiopia

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Singapore

Ecuador

Maramures, Romania

Mawlamyine, Burma

Havana, Cuba

We live in a diverse world and there’s beauty everywhere. A few months ago I entered in the amazonian jungle of Ecuador to capture images for The Atlas of Beauty. In a Kichwa tribe, with hundreds of years old rules, I found a very expressive young woman. She dressed in her wedding dress (yes, this is her marriage outfit) that she used when she was 15 years old (yes, people from this tribe may get married at that age) and let me take her some photos in her courtyard. Actually, in Amazonia all the jungle can be your courtyard.

Tibetan woman in Xiahe, China

I met Maria Jose last year in the driest place on earth: the Atacama Desert in Chile. She was traveling with a backpack, sleeping in a tent, making all kinds of ornaments of paper, which she was selling. In Latin America I met a lot of people who had this lifestyle for many years, not being part of the classical way of living in a society. Maria Jose is a student yet and enjoys the freedom of this independent journeys, only on vacations. She’s from Venezuela, but moved with her family since few years ago, in Chile. Maria Jose from Venezuela, in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

There is a place in Ecuador where most men have long hair to their waist and women wear traditional clothes with pleasure. Although it is a prosperous city with modern influences, in Otavalo the old habits haven’t died and the indigenous population has plenty of traditions to be proud with. In a world of globalisation, where more and more women tend to behave and dress the same, it’s nice to see that there is still diversity, that there are still young women who proudly assumes their origins and keep their traditions. I dream to discover in the future more places like this, with The Atlas of Beauty, and to show that diversity is a treasure that we mustn’t lose. The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc/ Diana in Otavalo, Ecuador

In Myanmar I met the most serene and generous people. Maybe it comes from buddhism or maybe it’s the peace that everyone enjoys after long years of dictatorship and violent conflicts. I tried to bring this gentle atmosphere in The Atlas of Beauty, photographing Yu Kyi in one of the most important Buddhist temples in the world. For The Atlas of Beauty any share is a chance to grow and continue. The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc/ Yu Kyi in Yangon, Myanmar

The Peruvian women from the Andes Mountains walk proud in their traditional clothes. I would have stayed for hours to admire the fine details of Calla’s dress, but I had to photograph her before the night would spread out over the beautiful landscapes at nearly 4,000 meters. The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc/ Calla in Colca Valley, Peru

I think true feminine beauty means assuming your origins and enjoying elements from your culture, things that make you different. In other words, beauty is diversity.

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