This article originally appeared on VICE Romania.
Ciprian Hord's projects tend to focus on the life of people with physical disabilities in Romania. In his previous series, Out of the Dark, the photographer hung out for a few months with a group of blind people—his aim was to show that despite their challenges, their days can be just as fun and fulfilling as everybody else's.
For his latest project, Beauty, Hord attended the "Miss and Mister Tăcerea ('Silence')" pageant—a beauty contest open to people with hearing impairments. The event was set up like any other pageant, with contestants parading a series of outfits and dance routines in front of a panel of judges. Nonetheless, there were also some minor tweaks—such as the fact that the audience did not clap to applaud, but waved their hands instead.
"I've been to beauty pageants before, and I have to say that the vibe was identical," Hord told me. "Backstage the same hustle and bustle reigned, as people made last-minute adjustments to their outfits. I had expected things to be quieter, but they weren't at all."
Scroll down for more photos from Hord's series, Beauty.