Interview: Suicide Girls Guide On Redefining Beauty In Burlesque - Magnetic Magazine

Interview: Suicide Girl's Guide On Redefining Beauty In Burlesque

The girls are also currently on tour!
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missy

Suicide Girls have been a hallmark for alternative beauty and since 2002, the girls have centered their focus on the world of burlesque. bringing in elements of pop culture and combining it with alternative beauty, the girls are bringing a new take to the artform, and quickly defining what beauty means in the modern world. 

They're currently on tour throughout the US, so we sat down with Missy Suicide to learn more about beauty, pop culture, and being confident as a woman in a confusing world. 

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Hey there, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! First things first, we'd love to learn how the burlesque program is expanding from its original show, and what people can expect from a show on the tour?

We originally did a punk rock burlesque show from 2002 - 2007 and it was a ton of fun, the girls opened for Guns n’ Roses and Courtney Love. They toured Australia and played The Download, Redding and Leeds Festival in London. It was an amazing experience but a lot of work, so we took a break to write a book, then we wanted to work on a movie, and also a comic book. 

Before we knew it, it was 2013 and we hadn’t sent the tour out again. At that time, we had released a new coffee table book, “Hard Girls Soft Light” and we sent girls up and down the West Coast to sign books at comic book shops. By the time they got to Santa Cruz, there were 500 people standing outside the comic book shop. We knew we could put on a better show than just two girls signing books, and clearly people wanted a live experience so we decided to reimagine the burlesque tour. In the ensuing 6 or 7 years since we had put on a tour, the burlesque world had really stepped up its game. Our punk rock whip cream covered routines would no longer be impressive. So, we decided to reimagine the show and up our game on every level. From music, choreography and costuming, we had to really put on a large-scale spectacle. 

I called a choreographer that I had worked with on a failed TV pilot and pitched him this combo, I would like to have a routine choreographed to Disclosure’s When A Fire Starts to Burn, but in the place of the inspirational speaker, we had mashed up the scene from the Simpson’s Planet of the Apes Opera. I wanted a group of girls to be wearing silver bikinis and monkey masks, while one girl comes out in a full on Barabarella glam space outfit. He said he was in and when he showed me the first routine, I cried, it was exactly what I had envisioned. We held auditions and found amazing performers and the girls have been on the road since then.

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Your show also promises an inclusion of geek and pop culture. What prompted you to merge with those elements?

We really wanted to create a show that combined cosplay with the sexy spirit of burlesque. The show had to be a fun, unique, experience so that the audience would be super into it and the girls would love performing. We have had a presence at Comic-Con in San Diego for the past 10 years and it is the highlight of so many girl’s years. I feel like pop culture is the currency of identity these days. Whereas people used to claim their identity from the subgenre of music they were into, these days with the explosion of video games, and high quality video content, people relate to one another based on what TV show they watch or what they play or what comic book they cosplay. We wanted to reflect that fandom in the burlesque show, with our own sexy twist of course :)

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Now getting to female power. There's been a lot of pushback from the government on the way female bodies are seen and treated, and I personally see this show as a way to reclaim our bodies. How do you find that Suicide Girls has promoted women in your point of view?

The female nude form is the most celebrated subject matter in all of art history. SuicideGirls is about celebrating how the model feels most beautiful about herself in her photoshoot, whether that is in a storm trooper mask, or simply in a bubble bath showcasing her snake tattoo that runs the length of her body. I think that it has helped push the boundaries from a passive subject of an artist vision of beauty to collaborator in images that are unique to each model. The fact that we post the images online to our community, and previews to our wider social network, exposes the masses to an expanded idea of what beautiful is and can be.

Also, the models on SuicideGirls don’t look like typical girls you would find in magazines, they are all unique. We have 3,000 official SuicideGirls from every continent including Antarctica, over 250k hopefuls and we receive over 50k applications a year from women who would like to become SuicideGirls. That is a lot of naked ladies redefining what beautiful is.

In today's age, what do you think are the best ways to fight back against oppression?

I feel in the current political climate the days of making polite requests are over, “Please, Sir, You’re Standing on My Neck" is not going to get you anywhere. We must stand firm and demand what should be inalienable equality. I mean we can do so politely but in a way that shows that this is not a negotiation, equal rights, equal pay, equality will be met, without compromise.

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We also must stop infighting. The days for quantifying who is feminist enough and judging who is not are passé. We need to celebrate each other’s unique ideas and stop trying to smash ourselves into boxes that other people have decided we need to fit into. Have confidence in who you are, and be 100% yourself. The world needs your unique point of view.

Who are your female inspirations?

Patty Smith, Gloria Steinem, Oprah and so many of the models on SuicideGirls from around the world who I have been lucky enough to meet both in person and online and have changed my life profoundly.

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What are the major challenges in bringing this big of a tour on the road? On the other hand, what are the positives?

We have a cast and crew that is fully made up of SuicideGirls models. We book the tour, we promote the tour, and we choreograph and create the show entirely. This is the first year that it has been fully SuicideGirl run and it has taken us 4 years to get to this point. We are grateful to all the amazing souls who helped us get here but are excited for the challenge of doing it on our own.

Finally, what's one message you'd like to get to all the girls out there reading this?

Come to the Burlesque Show! It is a sexy fun night you won’t forget. You will walk away knowing what we mean when we say confidence is the sexiest attribute a person can have and hopefully you will continue to live it :) 

Check out more information and purchase tickets here

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