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The Tajik Beauty

‘Damsel of Dushanbe’ - internet going crazy over Tajik beauty

“I love to meet diverse people, to go beyond the surface, to discover their sincere and authentic side, to photograph it.”   -            Mihaela Noroc 


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Image courtesy: AP

Internet’s latest craze is ‘Damsel of Dushanbe’, a quintessential Tajik beauty who was captured by famous Romanian globe trekker photographer Mihaela Noroc. The 19-year-old beauty has been identified as Munira Mirzoyeva, who works as a local gardener in Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan.
After Munira’s portrait found a place in the famous ‘The Atlas of Beauty’ wall, she became some sort of a local celebrity.Once her story appeared on TV channels and the internet, her fame went beyond the Tajikistan border.
Hailing from an impoverished background, the teenager hopes that her new-found fame will help change her fate. She used to dream of becoming a doctor, but had to quit her studies owing to poverty.
She stays in a one-bedroom apartment with her parents and four younger siblings. Munira wants to resume her studies so that she can earn a better job some day.
Now well-wishers are raising money to fund Munira’s education. Let’s hope the photograph will change the young lady’s destiny.
The photographer behind The Atlas of Beauty
By the age of 29, freelance photographer Mihaela Noroc has travelled around the globe, covering 60 countries, as part of her project Atlas of Beauty – an attempt to capture the raw, diverse essence of feminine beauty across varying cultures, opposing to the popular universal concept. In a way, it’s Mihaela is a one-man army fighting the consumerist ideals that has devoured the society, with her lens.
In her bio, the young photographer has mentioned about her fears of a world where everyone will be dressed alike, may be in the next 50 years. Mihaela wants to freeze the diverse world in time through her work, offering the future generation a glimpse to their diverse past.   
Mihaela’s subjects are young women, whom she prefers to capture without any heavy make up.

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