When online community SuicideGirls was started, it was for the girls that didn’t fit in. Having coloured hair, tattoos and piercings hasn’t always been normalised, and alt girls still had a long way to go in having their beauty accepted and appreciated. Fast forward to 2021, where the NSFW community continues to thrive, with millions actively partaking in what the brand has created. They’ve expanded their range in establishing SuicideGirls: Blackheart Burlesque, an experience fusing pop culture with burlesque in a way that only the SuicideGirls could. It’s a show that’s even made its way to Australia, where models like Blink and Arachnie Suicide (pictured) continue to carry the SuicideGirls torch. To understand more about what it takes to be a part of the community, we caught up with co-founder Missy Suicide.
What about SuicideGirls has given it this level of longevity?
I think the longevity of the site is due to us staying true to our original ethos of creating a place where women could be comfortable being themselves. A place they could be appreciated for their own unique beauty. SuicideGirls is a truly kind community, full of supportive men and women, on the internet, it is possible.
What’s the SuicideGirls presence in Australia like?
We have such an amazing group of supportive, awesome SuicideGirls, Hopefuls and Fans in Australia. I have been lucky enough to meet several people from the Aussie community over the years. Both on the Burlesque tour we did in 2013 and the Party I had for SGs and Hopefuls in 2018.
How can someone apply to be a SuicideGirl?
Models can apply at suicidegirls.com/model and one of our amazing team will help you through the process of filling out the paperwork and shooting a set.
What do you look for in your candidates?
We look for girls that live their life on their own terms, women who are self assured and confident. Women who embrace their bodies and themselves. Who recognise that their body is intrinsically as much a representation of who they are and what they have been through as any of the ideas they have won through triumph, failure and hard fought experiences. Girls who are uniquely, beautifully, wonderfully themselves, the sum of all of their parts. Girls that bring so much to the table and believe they deserve a place at it.
What inspired the creation of Blackheart Burlesque?
In the same way that we took the classic pin-up photo on the site and put a modern twist on it, we wanted to take the sexy spirit of classic burlesque and put a modern twist on it viewed through a pop culture lens.
How is it different than other burlesque acts with the platform of SuicideGirls behind it?
All of the acts are high energy highly choreographed numbers set to a kick ass soundtrack that depict a pop culture theme.
What is the role of men in the SuicideGirls community?
The male fans of SuicideGirls are supportive and wonderfully appreciative of the stunning, strong, unique beauties who share themselves with the community.
What signifies success for each new SuicideGirls pursuit?
If our core community responds to it and loves it. It is a fine line between creating something your core community loves and gains popularity but I think we are pretty adept at it at this point.
Is there something you’d like to do that you haven’t done yet?
We have talked about creating a TV Show or docuseries and that would be amazing. After about a dozen false starts nothing has felt right so far but hopefully soon we will crack the formula.
What do you hope to see come up or change in the greater NSFW community?
There has been so much that has changed in the past year. I am eager to see how it continues to evolve. I really respect that the girls themselves are taking control of how they are presented and are in charge of their own image.
What aspects of culture in general continue to inspire the SuicideGirls brand?
I think the girls are doing much more cosplay these days. I think the amazing women in our community will always be our main source of inspiration. Their journeys and insights are all unique and incredibly inspiring.
What do you see as the place of SuicideGirls in our culture?
I hope that SuicideGirls is remembered as helping to turn the cultural tide towards greater acceptance of the self. Normalising beautiful women from around the world who feel empowered by their bodies not ashamed of them.
SuicideGirls is about committing social suicide and proudly choosing not to fit in. Society, advertising, corporations benefit from our insecurities. In order to succeed ads have to threaten our sense of self. To love yourself is defiant. To embrace your body is rebellion. To do so confidently while celebrating every woman’s unique beauty is a revolution.
There is a quote by Junot Diaz that really resonates with me:
“If you want to make a human being a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”