Suicide Girls Bare Bodies,
Souls To Build Ideals
Images by Melissa Corbin. See more images on Page 2 —>
A Massive Following And The Emergence Of A Worldwide Community Have Flowed To The “Suicide Girls” Website Thanks To Sex Appeal And Women Who Seek To Expand The Notion of What Is Beautiful
Image by Melissa Corbin.
By John Guzzon & Melissa Corbin
Modern Times Magazine
Nov. 23, 2013 — Late last month, a group came to Arizona’s Marquee Theater to perform for a loyal following of their fans.
A packed house met them and screamed, cheered and got to know their semi-famous virtual friends. Loud music and dancing managed to eclipse the cheers.
But the group was not a band, actors, traditional dancers or performers.
Rather, they were some of the stars of the Suicide Girls website as part of their North American Burlesque tour, title Blackheart Burlesque. Suicide Girls has more than 5 million fans on Facebook and hundreds of thousands more on other social media like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and more, besides the thousands of subscribers to their online community.
In short, it just might be the largest “underground” community in the country.
But this is not your grandfather's burlesque show or set of pictures, and definitely not his (or grandma's) burlesque idols. These girls, instead, are pierced and tattooed, with ultra-modern haircuts and hair colors: A new vision of feminine power born in the new millennium.
While at first blush the site might appear to be nothing more than naked women, this is not a typical “porn” site. The images are erotic, yet short of hardcore, and carry a much more serious message than just sexual excitement. They include blogs from the girls that are, at times, utterly personal and transcendent of the eroticism that becomes merely a portal for the message.
Suicide girls founder Missy Suicide — real name Selena Mooney — said that while the girls get $500 for featured pictorials on the site, the motivation is for more than money. Instead, they are motivated to empower a new feminine generation while creating a community amongst them.
“So many girls have told me that they didn’t think they were beautiful until they saw the site. Thousands of people have gotten together, married, babies been born. Businesses have been formed, bands have been formed and countless friendships. Its been a really amazing experience,” said Missy Suicide. “We have girls that have skin disorders and girls that are little people, all kinds of different body types and they are all celebrated on our site. There is no real one type of Suicide Girl. I think that is kind of the main message. Everybody is beautiful and confidence is the sexiest attribute a person can have.”
In the burlesque show, the Suicide Girls add a decidedly modern flair to the classic art. Since the advent of the SG website in late 2001, the Girls have happily exchanged their eye candy for smart, culturally literate followers. Blackheart Burlesque toured all over the world in 2003 and after a six year hiatus, the show is back and bursting with sexy surprises. Choreographer Manwe Sauls-Addison has worked with renowned performers such as Beyonce, J. Lo, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson. He has assembled seven of the sexiest, most talented Suicide Girl dancers to create the ultimate tribute to pop-culture that burlesque has ever seen.
Jacob Rosenthal, 32, of the Phoenix metro, has been following the Girls since the beginning.
“It’s fascinating to interact with like-minded people. Suicide Girls has seriously evolved and taken the world by storm over the past decade,” he said.
At the Marquee Theater on Oct. 29, it was rare to see so much cohesion in an audience. Some shows carry with them an air of pretentiousness and audience members remain in closed-off cliques; here, attendees were the recipient of smiles rather than smug glares. There was seldom a face not alight with laughter or flushed by equal parts October chill and flirtatious advances. Everyone was comfortable with themselves and their identities.
As the lights dropped, and applause rippled through the crowd. The revue became rife with racy lingerie and cheeky cultural references – Doctor Who, The Avengers, Portal – all nerd staples, were presented sexily through the art of performance and dance.
Teresa Moore, a local instructor of pole fitness and exotic dance, loved it.
“Burlesque is a combination of so many different arts,” she said. “Dance, fashion, flexibility. I wish more people appreciated it for how much skill it takes.”
Over the course of the night, tons of audience interaction takes place, facilitated mostly by Katherine Suicide. The fiery redhead took on the role of spirited MC, inviting audience members onto the stage to dance alongside her and imbibe whiskey from the mouths of her dancers. Participants blushed and giggled as they swayed beside the tattooed and inked vixens. The host engaged and encouraged the crowd to participate and the energy was clearly balanced between the performers and the audience.
The entire show wrapped up with a Star Wars inspired act, complete with white lingerie and stormtrooper helmets. Each dance had a different appeal – some were mysterious and dark, others playful and full of raw sexiness. But one thing was for sure – the sex appeal of the Suicide Girls isn’t fading away anytime soon.
In an effort to find out more about this community, we interviewed founder and driving force of Suicide Girls and Blackheart Burlesque, Missy Suicide, soon after the Phoenix show to find out more.
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