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The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits Hardcover – September 26, 2017
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As heard on NPR's Weekend Edition and as seen in Elle, The Cut, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveler, Advocate, and many more.
About the Author
MIHAELA NOROC lives in Bucharest, Romania, and has traveled to 55 countries in the last four years working on her ongoing photography project The Atlas of Beauty, which is documented on her blog (theatlasofbeauty.com) and on her enormously popular Instagram (@the.atlas.of.beauty) and Facebook (The Atlas of Beauty) pages. Mihaela’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes and she has appeared on CNN, the BBC, and Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday.
Top customer reviews
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I am shocked that so many reviewers have praised this book to the skies. The only criticism I find among the reviews is from someone who says, rightfully, that the book is hard to keep open and its binding is shoddy.
I suggest, in the second edition, if such is ever published, that true diversity be represented--including the roles of women, not simply what they wear-- as well as women of all ages, women with ample flesh, and women with obvious physical and cognitive disabilities.
‘The Atlas of Beauty’ is intended, and mostly works, as a corrective to this state of affairs, comprising a collection of 500 portraits of women from around the world by Mihaela Noroc. It represents the fruits of a social media project which has seen the backpacking Romanian photographer take pictures of women in more than 50 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Brazil and from Ethiopia to Central Mongolia.
Noroc’s book celebrates diversity not only by ranging widely geographically but by depicting women of all sorts and variously occupied: the young, the middle aged and old; mothers-to-be, mothers and grandmothers; blondes, brunettes and redheads; working, shopping, dancing; and most other variations you can imagine. All are photographed in natural light and in natural, or at least naturalistic, poses.
Most pages present one woman or sometimes offer two portraits. It is a tribute to the high quality of the images that one feels rather cheated by the ten pages in the book in each of which sixteen passport-size pictures are assembled, as one feels that each individual image is really deserving of its own page.
Noroc’s commendable aim is to spread the message that inner beauty trumps the skin-deep kind. Thus for her beauty is about being yourself - natural and authentic – and her portraits certainly reveal women seemingly comfortable in themselves and thus able to meet her lens with a steadfast gaze.
Noroc is clearly a very accomplished photographer but that raises a paradox: are her subjects naturally photogenic or have her skills rather made them seem so? Either way her book, like each of her women, is beautiful.
I’ve attached a pic of my favorite page. The woman on top right is from Argentina and the woman on the bottom is from Iran. And though they live worlds apart geographically they look like they could be related.
So much beauty is captured in these photos with so much care and dignity.
This will be my Christmas gift to my friends this year.