Work / Photography

Meet Nora, the pensioner whose underwear shots help her finally learn to like her looks

“Nora has never been able to see or appreciate how attractive she is,” says photographer Emily Stein, the lady behind a charming new photography series that shows just how daft Nora’s view of herself is. “Showing me photographs of her younger gorgeous self – telling me ‘look, I’m plain,’ it struck me as such a shame that no matter what we look like we are all so critical of ourselves, and even at 73 Nora is no more at peace with how she looks.”

Perhaps after this she will be: Emily’s series is full of light, colour and energy that celebrates Nora in all her glory. Her 73 years become decades of empowerment and freedom rather than regrets and wrinkles, and looks aside, she has a fascinating story to tell.

Nora was originally based in Prague, working as a conceptual architect at the national gallery there before following her then (and third) husband to the UK. “In a short time, I became separated from him and homeless; and as a consequence of my decision, spent the following years essentially deaf and dumb, and struggling severely.”

She continues: “Since my first marriage and birth of my daughter  when I was 19, l have adhered to a fundamentally self-reliant philosophy of responsibility and respect for all living creatures. I have never felt the inclination to belong to, participate in or follow any social, political or professional club, institute and/or circle.”

Now living in Stoke Newington, north London, Nora is married to an architectural and furniture designer, and says she is “enjoying the relatively unfamiliar leisurely existence of a ’housewife’.”

This series, styled alongside Janine Eveson, proves that whatever hardships Nora has suffered or if she views herself as a “housewife,” she’s got much to be proud of; in terms of looks and a sanguine, philosophical outlook on life. “Nora says she has never been photogenic, but felt taking the photographs helped her to feel more comfortable and content with herself and her body,” says Emily.


Emily Stein: Hello I’m Nora


Emily Stein: Hello I’m Nora


Emily Stein: Hello I’m Nora


Emily Stein: Hello I’m Nora


Emily Stein: Hello I’m Nora