Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Susan Linney – Artist & Abolitionist, Beauty Writer


We’ve long known that beauty is more than what meets the eye. We recently met the stylish Susan Linney, and while it was not surprising to us that she had the wonderful knack that all talented writers possesses – to empower our imaginations and minds with their words – we’ve been quick to realize that Susan’s journey is one that expresses deep soul while reaming completely embraceable and accessible. From her professional journey into the world of writing beauty editorials, to her more recent recovery from alcoholism, the freedom that she is exploring stirs our hearts! 

While most of the images below are from Susan's stories, some are simply interesting/odd/fun pictures that she often posts on her Tumblr, Crazyuglybeautifulthings.tumblr.com/.

www.Meetsobsession.com
Courtesy of: Meetsobsession.com
www.Trendhunter.com
Photo Credit: Trendhunter.com
www.Trendhunter.com
Photo Credit: Trendhunter.com
NN: How long have you been a writer and what sparked your passion to put pen to paper?

SL: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I always wrote in a journal, ever since I was a kid. My father was a playwright and novelist and a big influence on me. Right out of college, I got a job at a small children’s book company. I worked there for seven years, eventually becoming an editorial director, and along the way got the chance to write quite a bit. It was mostly fluff — we did a lot of non-fiction content for teens: poster books on Britney Spears, *NSync, the Backstreet Boys, that kind of stuff (woot woot late ’90s). Fluffy, but a lot of fun. Eventually I moved on to magazines, where I worked as an editor for Redbook and then Lucky. It was at Lucky that I really discovered my obsession for and desire to write about beauty. In 2011, I took the leap into the freelance world, where I’ve been ever since.

NN: To date, what is your favorite writing project and why?

SL: I have a column on the recently launched site TueNight.com, called Bottles Down. I’m in recovery (will have two years sober in December!), and I’ll be sharing my struggles with alcoholism, but in an upbeat, somewhat satirical and (hopefully) relatable way. Because while alcoholism is obviously a very specific (and deadly) disease, I’m learning some amazing things about myself during my recovery process, so many of which are rooted in issues that I think are fairly universal — fear, low self-esteem, perfectionism, impulse control, etc. So to (finally!) answer your question, my favorite piece of published writing that I’ve done so far is the first post I wrote for this column, which debuts today on TueNight.com. So please check it out! There’s some good beauty advice in there, too. :)

www.Mamasarollingstone.com/
Courtesy of: Mamasarollingstone.com
www.Thelocalrose.com
Photo Credit: Thelocalrose.com
www.Mamasarollingstone.com
Courtesy of: Mamasarollingstone.com
www.Mashable.com
Photo Credit: Mashable.com
NN: We know you're also a killer stylist - how did you decide to combine writing and the beauty industry? Tell us more about how these two creative passions compliment each other (or how they don't!).

SL: I used to really struggle with this question. I’d ask myself: “Can I truly call myself a writer when the most hard-hitting info I deliver is about the latest lipstick to hit the market?” I mean, my father wrote about the Holocaust, Pentecostalism, Lord Byron … and here I am, typing away about which bronzer works best for fair skin.

But the thing is, I love doing it. And I’ve come to learn to stop making those comparisons, to accept that I enjoy writing fun, fluffy stories about beauty products. I don’t need to be Hemingway, or my father, for that matter. A writer is a writer, regardless of the subject. And beauty products are fun (and often necessary) tools that have the power to make women feel good and express themselves. (Men, too, if that’s their thing. Seriously.) So if I can help readers to try new looks, find the best products, etc. — and entertain in the process — that’s good enough for me.

Sobriety has also given me the gift of freedom and the courage to allow myself to make new goals and experiment with other kinds of work (like my
TueNight column).

NN: Freedom is a theme that we focus on quite a bit, as well as empowerment. It seems to us that your work as an artist could potentially unlock both for your readers/followers. Do see these two themes in your work as well?

SL: Definitely in my upcoming column. Now that I’m sober (and doing lots of therapy), I’m starting to understand the psychological reasons behind why I drank for so long. And in doing so, I’m (slowly) learning to set those demons free. From a physical standpoint, I’m literally free from booze — my body doesn’t need it any more. And in terms of beauty writing, I love the idea of adults playing with makeup, almost like so many of us probably did as kids. Beauty is a form of expression, and I love that we can really let our personalities shine through beauty products, whether it be via a bright, bold red lipstick, a lovely scented perfume, or a sexy, notice-me-now pair of smoky eyes. 

www.Mamasarollingstone.com
Courtesy of: Meetsobsession.com 
www.Mamasarollingstone.com
Courtesy of: Mamasarollingstone.com
www.Meetsobsession.com
Courtesy of: Meetsobsession.com
NN: You recently learned about Nomi Network and human trafficking. What are your hopes when it comes to getting involved with this movement?

SL: Little did I know that when I bid on this green fabulous yoga bag at a silent auction during a charity event, that I’d only win it, but I’d also get the pleasure of meeting Alissa Moore, co-founder of Nomi Network. I knew next to nothing about human trafficking, and when I went home and did some research, I was shocked to find out how many millions of woman are vulnerable to sex trafficking, and how prevalent it is in so many areas of the world. Buyherbagnotherbody.com is a fantastic way to help support Nomi Network’s cause. I’ve been featuring the site’s fantastic goods in my work and plan to continue to do so. They’ve got such great stuff and I love stores and sites that donate portions of their proceeds to charitable organizations. There’s no denying that most everyone loves to shop, so it’s a great way to raise money and awareness for a cause; especially ones that the shopper may have otherwise never had learned about. And since Nomi Network’s proceeds literally create jobs and help empower women, it’s such a wonderful feeling when you purchase something from the site. Guilt-free shopping at it’s best.

NN: How can someone follow your work?

SL: You can checkout my website, Susanlinney.com — a simple site where I house all of my clips. I also write regularly about beauty for two fantastic sites —Meetsobsession.com and Mamasarollingatone.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @Susan_Linney, and please check out my new column — and all of the other awesome content — on TueNight.com!

- Susan Linney & Alissa Moore

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