By: Bernadette Grondin

The other day, a photo like this one came up on my brother's Facebook posted by a friend of his. We were both saddened and put off by the photo, not because there isn't some sort of beauty in the way she has applied her makeup, but because of the fact that the makeup is all you see. Where is the woman behind it? Who is she? You can only see the sheen of foundation and the grains of powder on her face instead of skin and pores; you see her mascara-painted lashes instead of meeting her eyes; you're drawn immediately to the shimmering red of her lips. My brother, commenting on the picture of his friend, said: “This isn't even anything like what she really looks like.” Makeup is meant to enhance the natural beauty of women, but our Hollywood society has begun to think – maybe without realizing it – that it is the makeup itself that is beautiful and not the woman herself. She is a type of inter-changeable canvass for a product or an image. Hollywood and corporations want to sell products; they want to mass-produce, and to do that they need to mass-produce buyers through media and fashion. They may not give any thought to the possibility that they are burying the true identity of women behind the layers of foundation and mascara.

It is crucial that we, as women, fight back against the trendy stereotypes and particular invisibility of the women we see plastered on so many bill boards. Women are not mannequins, and we are more than potential customers. We have an intrinsic value that is worth more than all of the makeup and hair product in the world. Because of this, blogs like TREnDS are incredibly important; they have taken it upon themselves to fight the good fight for and with women by reminding them of the beauty within them and teaching them how to present that beauty and power in a unique and truly feminine way.

If women want to that unique beauty and power to be seen and valued then we, as women, need to take control of how feminine beauty is presented in society through media, fashion, and everyday living. Women have the power to shape cultures. TREnDS helps girls and young women shape our society into one which recognizes the authentic and unique beauty of the feminine by showing them just how beautiful women are when they dress and behave as themselves: real, unique, feminine women. TREnDS doesn't reach all young women yet, but by living out the authentic beauty that TREnDS promotes, we can slowly redefine a hypersexualized fashion culture that tries to either craft women into china dolls or a dominatrix depending on the latest market research.

Women have that power to change the world if only we would take control of it: in 1429, Joan of Arc led the French army to victory against the English; in 1903 Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize for her scientific discoveries; in 1955 Rosa Parks stood up against racial injustice. Women have the ability to do great things—things which no one else can do—but we cannot perform these feats of strength if we are afraid of being our authentic selves. Once we reclaim our feminine power, I believe that women will change our culture.