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Founder Susan Vernicek Quoted in Yahoo Shine Article

According to self-esteem expert Susan Vernicek, while experiments such as Shields’s are extreme, the lessons to be learned are significant. “For many women, it’s a daily challenge to feel beautiful and confident. There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup and looking nice, but if it’s difficult to leave the house without getting dressed up, it’s worth discovering why,” she says.

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Would We Feel Better Without Makeup? One Woman’s Modesty Experiment

Writer Lauren Shields shunned makeup and stylish clothing and covered hair for nine months as part of a project to reject conventional beauty standards and discover her true self-worth. Currently writing a book called “The Modesty Experiment,” she chronicled her “frightening and liberating” journey this week on Salon.

More on Yahoo! Shine: Self-Portraits Reveal the Truth About Body Image

Shields is not the first woman to go to lengths in the pursuit of self-esteem. In March 2011, as a way to overcome her “obsession” with her appearance, writer Kjerstin Gruys didn’t look in the mirror for the entire year leading up to her wedding. Through the process, Gruys learned to trust people when they said she was beautiful andrealized that she was her own biggest critic.

It’s no surprise that a great number of women grapple with their appearance. Research conducted by the Renfrew Center Foundation found that 44 percent of women experience negative emotions when not wearing cosmetics and report feeling self-conscious, unattractive, and naked. 32 percent said they wear makeup to feel good and 11 percent because it’s a societal norm. It’s difficult to blame them—one Harvard study revealed that women who wear makeup are perceived as more trustworthy, competent, and likeable.

According to self-esteem expert Susan Vernicek, while experiments such as Shields’s are extreme, the lessons to be learned are significant. “For many women, it’s a daily challenge to feel beautiful and confident. There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup and looking nice, but if it’s difficult to leave the house without getting dressed up, it’s worth discovering why,” she says.

And that’s what Shields set out to do. Back in 2010, she was like any other fashion-forward woman living and working in New York City. Every morning she made the trek from her apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to her office in Manhattan and was struck by how nicely the women on the train dressed. “It was an army of ladies sporting fitted waistlines, toned arms, blown-out hair, full faces of makeup, and heels (which was incredible, considering all the walking we all had to do). Everyone looked good, no one was phoning it in, and we were all stylish,” she wrote.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE AND MORE QUOTES FROM VERNICEK

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About the author

Susan Vernicek

Susan Vernicek

Facts about Susan Vernicek:
• She’s happily married and a mother of twins.

• She’s tried almost every fad diet back in her quick-fix days, admits at age 34 it’s a struggle to work hard on overall balance and is focused on not giving into the unhealthy fads we see daily.

• She’s all natural with natural blonde hair, uneven breasts, a bigger nose, and full of curves that she learns to appreciate more and more each day.

• She had a career where part of her job was staring at herself 40 hours a week manipulating her very own face as well as others.

• She’s the youngest of 7, ranging from 30-50+, an Aunt, Great Aunt and even younger than some of her nieces and nephews!

• She’s traveled and seen over 8 countries and spent a summer in London finding her passion and embracing life.

• She created S&J Identity, Inc. AKA Identity Magazine, having no business background and at the age of 25.