Arts & Culture, Features

Mihaela Noroc’s the Atlas of Beauty

By Lindsay Cooper The face of so-called “traditional beauty” has been static for generations – think the oval faces, wide-set eyes, and light complexions of Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, Olivia Newton-John, and now Scarlett Johansson. With such narrow standards, the definition of beauty is just repackaged in the season’s hottest colours without being tailored to fit the next generation. Fortunately, many disagree with the idea of one set of criteria for beauty and seek to make definitions more inclusive. One critic is Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc, creator of the Atlas of Beauty. Noroc travels the world, showcasing diverse moments of beauty along the way. “In my opinion, beauty means to keep alive your origins and your culture. To be natural, sincere, authentic, particular, not necessary fashion. Maybe in 50 years all women from all around the world will dress and act the same. I hope my project will remain a witness of my era’s cultures and traditions.” Noroc first took to the road in 2013 to document beauty in 37 countries across Europe, Oceania, Asia, as well as North, South, and Central America. Her photography and mission resonated with women all over the world, effectively making the Atlas of Beauty an internet phenomenon, with Noroc having now amassed 124,000 Instagram followers and 160,000 likes on Facebook. Since her first 15 month expedition, Noroc has set sail again and is now in the middle of another 30 country journey. Over the course of the past seven months, Noroc has made stops all over the Asian continent, including India, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and even North Korea, with plans to tackle Ethiopian beauty next. As for her plans beyond this trip, Noroc hopes to reach audiences beyond her internet presence with a book. The book is set to be published later this year and will be a hardcover volume chronicling her two trips, taking a more literal approach to the title the Atlas of Beauty. Image Credit: Mihaela Noroc of the Atlas of Beauty

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