For three years now, the Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc has been traveling the world taking pictures of women of diverse cultures. Her aim is to show that beauty is not found in expensive clothing or layers of makeup bit is in fact within us.
Her project The Atlas of Beauty has taken Noroc to over forty countries such as Nepal, Kyrgyzstan and Ethiopia. Among all the amazing destinations she’s visited, perhaps the most special one has been North Korea. What surprised Noroc the most about the country with closed borders was how open women were to have their photographs taken. Ahead of the trip, she thought she would be lucky if she made a single portrait there, yet she returned with a whole series.
The photographer was granted permission to travel to four different cities, where she photographed women in the streets and subway stations, as well as at work in hotels, restaurants and in a textile factory. Uniforms are very common in North Korea, as it is to wear pins with the two former great leaders. During special occasions women dress in traditional outfitsthose are few observations Noroc shares in the descriptions of her pictures.
The photographs are beautiful in their own account and what’s more, they prove that women have a sense of beauty even if they are not in touch with the latest fashion trends.