Exclusive interview with Missy Suicide, founder of SuicideGirls – Catch the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque Tour this Wednesday, November 14th at The Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz!

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By: Ernesto Altamirano

Since launching SuicideGirls, Missy Suicide has become a voice for the culture on sexuality outside of what mainstream media is reporting. She has been interviewed on issues relating to music, the internet, pop culture and body image on numerous radio stations and in publications such as the New York Times, Wired, Spin and Elle and appeared on Showtime, HBO, CBS, and Fox News. We’re very excited to share our exclusive interview with her!

I deeply admire the way the Suicide Girls have helped to redefine beauty, modeling and fashion, and the positive influence the Suicide Girls’ online community has had on others is undeniable. I wanted to begin our interview by asking what were some of your main influences when you first began the SuicideGirls? What helped to spark the creativity flame?

MISSY SUICIDE: I decided to start the group in 2001 as a place where…I had a group of friends who I thought were the most beautiful girls in the world, and I felt they weren’t being celebrated because they were different than the images created in fashion and the media. I wanted to create a place where they could be appreciated for being themselves. As for the name…the girls all commit “social suicide” for not wanting to fit in. Women who don’t see girls like them celebrated in media as being beautiful. If you look at any poster or magazine, TV shows or movies, the images tend to be very limited in their viewing of who is deemed to be beautiful by society. I feel like it really affects girls, if you don’t see someone who looks like you reflected back as being beautiful, then it really affects your self-esteem. I have women from all over the world who have emailed me and said they now feel beautiful, they now feel a sense of self-esteem, a sense of self-worth and pride since they saw a lot of women on SuicideGirls that look like them. So they’re “SuicideGirls,” which is a term used in  Chuck Palahniuk’s book Survivor.

And talking about the beginnings of SuicideGirls, what were some of the biggest challenges that you initially faced and what is some advice that you could give to my readers on how to overcome any adversity they might face when pursuing their own creative dreams?

MISSY SUICIDE: You must be authentic to and an active part of the community you are trying to reach.  Being authentic, passionate and persistent (even when you want to give up) are all key to creating something that speaks to who you are trying to reach.  If people are giving you feedback, it means they care. Take it, some with a grain of salt, but find the useful nugget in every comment.

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It seems that mainstream media is starting to adopt diversity more, which is something that SuicideGirls have always embraced. What is something that you’d still like to be reflected on mainstream media that perhaps is not being portrayed yet?

MISSY SUICIDE: It has always been and will always be girls to celebrate their individuality – to embrace their body and themselves. That confidence is the sexiest thing a person can have. I think the brand of women on the site has definitely evolved over the past 17 years. When we started, we were primarily Portland-based, and I shot the images of a more limited pool. And now we’ve got over 3,000 official SuicideGirls all around the world, including Antarctica. We’re a community online that is positive and supportive. Where people can share their ideas and feelings without getting them reduced to base level commentaries. It is… (pause) pretty cool.

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We’re very excited that the “SuicideGirls: Blackheart Burlesque” tour will be coming to The Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz this Wednesday, November 14th. What are some things we could expect from this live show?

MISSY SUICIDE: Come see the show it is the dirtiest, nerdiest, fun you are going to have all year.  It is impossible to leave without a smile on your face.  We can all use a sexy, silly, good time every now and then.  Get tickets at blackheartburlesque.com

Is there anything else you’d like to share with my audience at Latino Edge?

MISSY SUICIDE: You can follow the girls on the road @SGblackheartburlesque

You can find me @missysuicide

You can find all of the beautiful SuicideGirls from around the world @suicidegirls

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Catch the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque Tour this Wednesday, November 14th at The Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz!

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS!

 

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