+

In 2013, Mihaela Noroc left her job, packed a backpack, and took off on an adventure most of us only dream about.

The then-28-year-old traded in her day job to travel the world, photographing women in their home countries and natural environments.

Three years on, she's still taking photos and sharing their stories through her digital project, The Atlas of Beauty.


A woman in Banjara peels shrimp at a fish market in Mumbai, India. She arrived here from Southern India, in search of new opportunities for her children. All photos by Mihaela Noroc, used with permission.

Traveling on a shoestring budget, Noroc meets and photographs women from all over the world.

She's traveled to six continents and more than 50 countries, connecting with women across geographic, economic, and social lines.

A woman in Cape Town has sold meat in this very spot for the past 30 years. "I was fascinated by the gentleness of this lady in such a rough environment," Noroc posted.

From isolated areas in Afghanistan and Brazilian favelas to urban centers like Istanbul and New York, Noroc finds beauty everywhere she goes.

A beautiful shot of a woman in Shiraz, Iran.

She captures some portraits quickly on busy street corners.

On her first day in Beijing, Noroc met a young woman who hopes to sing with the Peking Opera.

Others take time and immense patience, as she meets the women for more elaborate shoots.

Eleni, from Delphi, Greece, wears contemporary clothes most days to work in her family restaurant. But once a year, during Easter, she celebrates in traditional garments with her community.

But each photograph celebrates strong, talented, beautiful women from around the globe.

A mother poses with her daughters. They're refugees from Syria living in a camp in Idomeni, Greece.

If there isn't a language barrier, Noroc often engages the women in conversation.

In discussing their families and dreams, the subjects often tap into universal feelings, concerns, and goals that many women share.

Like Urvashi Patole, who started an all-women's motorcycle association in India and is empowering women to go on adventures and challenge stereotypes.

"After photographing women in more than 50 countries I can say that beauty is everywhere, and it's not a matter of cosmetics, money, race, or social status, but more about being yourself," Noroc wrote.

A Kichwa woman living in the Ecuadorian part of the Amazon rainforest poses for Noroc in her wedding outfit.

Noroc hopes to publish the first edition of "The Atlas of Beauty" in 2017.

For now, she continues to travel the world, camera in hand and the same well-loved backpack along for the ride.

A young woman living in Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor.

"Every day, when we watch mass media we see an Atlas of Wars, Conflicts, and Fear," she said. "More than ever, I think our world needs an Atlas of Beauty to show that diversity is something beautiful, not a reason for conflicts."

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pets

Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

The suspect was identified by the scratches the squirrel left.

Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

Three different types of blood donations.

The AIDS epidemic that began in the early '80s cast a stigma on all men who have sex with men, regardless of their HIV status. The idea that gay and bisexual men were somehow dangerous to the general public because of a health crisis in their community added to the stigmatization that already came with being LGBTQ.

In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

In 2020, the FDA eased restrictions on men who have sex with men again, due to a blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The abstinence period was shortened from a year to three months.

Keep ReadingShow less