SuicideGirls-Taking over the world since 2001
Editiors Note: We covered a lot of topics I was going to break this up into two part but felt as a whole this is better. Look at the end for our favorite SuicideGirls. If you have not signed up for a membership I encourage you to do so it is worth the price of admission.
Missy Suicide is an icon, business owner, provocateur, and one of a kind genius; she cares deeply about the SuicideGirls site, its models and the Suicide Girls community. She is passionate about the site and holds to the same Ideals that Suicide Girls started with in 2001, all women are beautiful. SucideGirls’s unique plan of giving the models control has been imitated but never duplicated. It amazing that that after almost 14 years, the Suicide Girls site continues to keep its ideal while expanding and growing like the Burlesque show SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque. SuicideGirls continues to expand its brand to TV, Radio, Comic Books, Magazines, choosing to only do things that promote the brands message ,SuicideGirls is a unique business where it is owned and run by women where they are early adopters of technology to promote its brand which is why it’s successful. SuicideGirls is a site that should be celebrated as it is one of the only places where you can see all types of women, where the message beauty comes in all shapes and size is celebrated. Consider this interview a celebration of the almost 14 years of SuicideGirls.
I encourage everyone if you ever thought about signing up for a membership SuicideGirls or see the burlesque show Blackheart Burlesque live, to do so.
Read this interview and soon you’ll love Missy Suicide too.
My name is Ashish Thomas from the website www.thegeekedgods.com. How are you today, got to say love the pink hair. Thank you for allowing me to interview you.
Missy: Thank You
One of the things we do as a site is terrible joke Thursday.
Here it is so why couldn’t you hear the pterodactyl go to the bathroom,
Missy: Why, because the P is silent. Hahaha
Me: Damn you got it that was our terrible joke of the day.
So serious question right off the bat, if you could be any superpower what would it be and why?
Missy-If I had a superpower it would be the ability to transport, in between , like teleport so end up in Paris or end up in brazil or be in china within a blink of an eye.
Ash- I like it I wish we had that now.
Q-So I’ve seen on the site It’s been 13 years 7 months 18 days since the suicide girls site has launched as one of the founders how has SuicideGirls stayed relevant with the passing of time? How many of the competitors go by the way side yet your still growing and pushing forward the ideals you started with?
Missy-We have held true to our ideals, confidence is the sexiest attribute a person can have. We are avid users of the site and members, so I feel as the internet has evolved, we’ve always try to make SuicideGirls continue to be a place we want to be a part of and go to every day. We still hold true to the message that all women are beautiful; I feel that has helped us stay relevant.
Q –When you started the site did you ever think think that you would have 5 million unique hits a month and that the brand would continue to grow in Radio, Television, Magazines Comic Book, Books, Burlesque show, Video Games.
Missy-No, when I started the site the longest job I had was 2 years, If you told me almost 13-14 years later I would be doing the same thing I would’ve said that you were crazy but I am glad it has evolved the way it has.
Q-How does SuicideGirls continue to expand into new avenues, territories and mediums, It seems like Suicide Girls keep pushing the brand as far as you can, how do you keep expanding taking advantage of the opportunities , very few sites understand but Suicide Girls does a good job of taking advantage of the opportunities offered to you.
Missy- Thanks, We try to do things that appeal to suicide girls and that we are excited about like the books or the burlesque show, the burlesque show-Blackheart Burlesque – Came about because we sent two girls on a book signing tour up and down the west coast just to sign copies of our latest new coffee table book at comic book shops and there were 500 people waiting outside the comic book shop for two girls autographs so we knew we could do something more impressive than two girls signing a book and decided to do a burlesque show. For all the things we do there are a million things we don’t do like we get offered to do like wine, pillow cases and all kinds of stuff, that ehh I don’t know so much about that.
Image: Issue of IDW/Suicide Girl Comic Book
Q. How do you choose when you get offered all those things and do you go by a gut, do you say this doesn’t represent the brand or message we are trying to convey?
Missy- Yeah, Were really conscious of doing things that we would use and that we like and that our members told us they are interested in or like for us to pursue. You know if it doesn’t make sense to us then we don’t do it.
Q. That is a great thing, and why the brand is so popular. In 2001 SuicideGirls mission was to give control to women over how their sexuality was depicted, Currently its listed as to celebrate alternative beauty and indie culture around the world, celebrating the that what makes us strange, weird or fucked up makes us beautiful. How does the site continue to maintain this mission, keep focus on these aspects?
Missy-You know, the girls are still in control of how they’re represented on the site how their photos are presented, they always keep blogs, journals and they have the freedom to express themselves whatever way they see fit and we’ve got groups and people who have met one another around the world thousands of couples met on the site and dozens of kids born because their parents met on SuicideGirls as well as countless friendships and businesses and bands formed because people have met on SuicideGirls.
Q. One big aspect of suicide girls is the community aspect where you’ll host meet up, encourage people to meet up and get together, was that something you wanted to focus on when you started the site.
Missy- a bit, when we started the site I had moved back to Portland after living in LA for five years. Even though I am from Portland I wanted a way to meet and connect with people so it’s always community, from that aspect it is important.
Q. How has Geek Culture coming into prominence affected the site, has it affected the site, has it caused an increase in traffic to the site or was suicide girls one of the reasons geek culture went into the mainstream.
Missy- I feel like the Girls have always had geekier interests and never been shy about sharing them on the site (SuicideGirls) and so I feel like we touched on something recently that’s become more accepted by pop culture and because of fortuitous timing its popular but the girls have always been true to themselves, they have always felt comfortable sharing with our community.
Q. That’s one of the reasons that drew me to the site, It’s fun how its turned now I am the person everyone comes to for comic stuff I am the person they come to, I notice the company has a lot of feminist ideals in this ever changing world did you ever imagine how Suicide girls message would expand across the United States and throughout the world how you keep growing but keep with your Ideals. The Company is By Women and for Woman and continues to expand.
Missy-I think that we stayed to the original ideal that all woman should be in control of how their image is presented and that confidence is the sexiest attribute a person can have. The SuicideGirls photo shoots are designed to showcase how the girls feel sexiest about themselves which is different than 99 % of photography out there. Photographers for the most part use their shoots to show how they feel about the world, SuicideGirls it’s about how the model feels. We continue showcasing women from around the world various body types, ethnicities, backgrounds and histories and all sorts of different woman all being beautiful
Q. Yes definitely, I am an Indian American; the site allows me to see all aspects of beauty which drew me to the site. One aspect of suicide girls that has been embraced heavily is social media, how did the site use social media to grow, it’s one of the largest companies to utilize social media, It has 6.5 Million follows on Facebook, 3 Million followers on Instagram, its list as a top 20 brand on Instagram. How do you use it for the site, you were the first to embrace social media Why did you embrace it and how do you continue to use it?
Missy-We have always been early adopters to social networks. SuicideGirls itself is one of the earliest social networks on the internet. We have always embraced social networks as a tool to spread the message of SuicideGirls and have always been fans of spreading the word through whatever social media comes up. We are early adopters of Periscope to Meerkat, Vine and Lo and every social network that pops up we jump on and utilize it. We would like to have as many people find our weird little corner of the internet as would like to.
Q. It helps someone may have Facebook but not Instagram and vice versa, I also noticed that a lot of the models have their own profiles on those social media sites as well, do you promote the models to have their own profiles to promote the models as well as suicide girls.
Missy-Yes we are encouraging of the models to use social media, I don’t think in this day and age that we have to push them much. Everyone has their own profiles and such.
Q. One aspect always embraced by suicide girls is Cosplay, it seems like it’s everywhere now, where do you see it fitting in with Suicide Girls and why do you think Cosplay has been embraced by the Alternative lifestyle?
Missy- There are a number of cosplay groups on the site. The Girls really embrace cosplay and couples in particular on the site are very into it. It’s another aspect of their personality. The beauty of SuicideGirls is the variety of girls–there are some girls very into cosplay and some girls that are not, Some girls into motorcycles and some girls that are not not , there are some girls covered in tattoos and some that are not .
Q. The site has something for everyone which makes it unique, I noticed on your site verse other sites that the Models seem to be more business savvy, is that something Suicide Girls pushes and Promotes, where the models look to do deals learn from the site and learn to be business savvy.
Missy-I feel like we’re always encouraging the girls to pursue their interests and encourage them. Probably 2/3rds of the photographers started out as models and are now full time photographers. I think that we encourage the girls to express their interests and pursue their dreams.
Q.There are also hopefuls people who want to be on the site people trying to get on the site, where there a lot of requests to get on the site when you were first starting, I love the process member review I want to know how it was designed?
Missy-When we started the site, I was the only photographer and you had to be in Portland to get photos, then we started to get applications from women in New York and London, All over, so we came up with a guide so people could shoot in our style where the models were the focus and it evolved expanding eventually we had our first international models. We would still choose the photos that went up every day from a closed submission process then it grew 10,000 submissions a year to 15,000 submissions a year to 20, 000 submissions a year. There were so many great sets coming in and I didn’t want to be the only Arbiter of what was chosen. So we started the member review process where members got a chance to give feedback on model sets. A girl might submit her first set and it might not be exactly what she wants to be on the internet forever, she might not look as comfortable as she could be, it might not be the right exact quality for the front page of Suicide Girls but she might just need a little bit of encouragement and feedback to get to the next level so we instituted the member review process allows that. Now we get 35,000 applications for Hope full’s a year from all over the world
Q. I love the process, the people that use the site get a say, and it’s the most democratic way.
Missy-Exactly, the thing I am most proud of is that everyone is really respectful in that process, in fact on the entire site our community is supportive and respectful even if they don’t always agree on something it’s not the trolling that is rampant on the internet.
Q. Yeah the trolling bothers me I don’t understand how people think that they can get away with that, it’s a human being you’re talking to, how has suicide girls sought to stop the trolling, and have you had to step in with those comments like that for someone not as respectful as they should be?
Missy-For the most part our community has been respectful and self-policing- it is a monitored community and you do have to pay a membership fee and we have no problem if you step out line and have been warned in revoking your membership, and so for most people realize that and don’t say things offensive and not supportive. If there is someone who is trolling our members alert us pretty quickly.
Q. I think that’s great, are there any avenues that you would like to see Suicide girls embrace in the future, you mentioned Meekcat and Periscope I feel like those two apps just started. Any avenues that you want to pursue further or push for Suicide Girls?
Missy- We would love to do more TV, Books, Movies more stuff, our ultimate goal is to take over the world so we still have a little ways to go.
Q. So in about a year it’s going to be the 15th Anniversary of Suicide Girls, Any plans started to celebrate that milestone.
Missy-15 Year Anniversary –No plans yet so far, hopefully we will have a big party or something.
Thank you for your time big fan of the site.
Some favorite suicide girls of the geekedgods-Jessicalou, Herem, bounty, shamardalie, blu, scribbles,Vorpal,Keto-sgh
Also my favorite photographers beside Missy is Gemma Edward check her out here and Alissa
Also a shout out to the Management team that keeps the site running check them out here.
And a special thank you to Alex Capriola, without her this interview wouldn’t have been possible check her out here and on instagram here. Best PR person that I have had the pleasure of working with.
Till next time.