There is a famous saying that goes “To define is to limit.” This is exactly the philosophy that Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc follows.

Noroc has spent years backpacking around the world, photographing women she sees on the streets, going about their daily chores.

Photographer Mihaela Noroc

From artists in Iran to students in Europe to workers in the isolated Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan, Noroc has photographed them all.

Following Her Dreams

Noroc has had a passion for photography since she was young, but took up a “regular” job to please her parents.


However, she felt unfulfilled and gave up the security of a “respectable” job to backpack around the world with a camera.

Photographing “Real Women”

Noroc’s subjects are not models or actors. They are the refugees of the Idomeni Camp in Greece, the tribeswomen of Africa, and even the resilient women of North Korea.


China, India, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, France, England, the United States, Brazil–these are just a handful of the countries whose women have become Noroc’s subjects.

Read More: In Pics: 7 Books That Will Teach You Important Life Lessons

Beauty Can’t Be Defined

Noroc has been compiling her portraits into a bestselling book published by Penguin, The Atlas of Beauty.


She also regularly posts her photographs on on Instagram with captions describing what the women in her photographs do for a living.

Noroc believes that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and aims to destroy stereotypes that only fair skin or a slim body makes a woman beautiful.

Making Women See Themselves Clearly

Noroc’s Atlas of Beauty is important because it shows women that they don’t have to adhere to any sort of “standard” to be considered beautiful.


Whatever their body type, skin colour, ethnicity, whether or not they’re disabled, each woman has her own strength and spirit, underlining the beautiful story in her eyes.

We hope Noroc continues to expand the Atlas, and show women that beauty is something fluid and undefinable.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: The Atlas of Beauty Book, Instagram,

Find the author online at: @NairSamyuktha

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