This is a story of how the aspiration to prove that different can also be beautiful gave rise to the SuicideGirls. A community that continues to promote beauty in its’ nonconformist form and absolutely rocks at it.

Today’s social constructs of beauty have made a leap since the early 2000s. Back then tattoos, piercings and any other deviation from the “norm” were too kinky for the masses to accept. A wildly popular SuicideGirls community has been at the forefront of moving beauty standards forward.

 

On a noble mission

Living in Oregon, Missy, the co-founder of the SuicideGirls identified with girls who stood out with their eye-catching body art and were not afraid to be different. “She idolized girls with tattoos, but found that many of them wouldn’t classify themselves as beautiful.” And that had to change.

The SuicideGirls Community, Missy, the co-founder

Missy Suicide and her friend Sean Suhl launched the SuicideGirls platform in the long gone 2001. A safe place where girls around the world could come together to celebrate their individuality, without being judged.

They took the name from a Chuck Palahniuk book:  “It was about girls who chose to commit social suicide by choosing not to fit in.”  Social suicide or not, those girls are definitely killing it in the social media world.             15 years down the line, they outlived social platforms like MySpace that they first used to engage with the audience. In this new era of Facebook and Instagram, the SuicideGirls managed to gain more than 6.2m followers on each of these media giants and the numbers keep growing! And so does the membership: “we now have 3,000 official Suicide Girls from every continent including Antarctica. We have over 250,000 hopeful Suicide Girls, and we get about 50,000 applications every year from women”, says Missy.

 

Stealing Beauty

In 2015 their artistic content attracted an American painter and photographer Richard Prince, who used some of the girls’ Instagram pictures, transferred those to canvas and created an exhibition, selling these appropriation artworks for 90.000$ each. This, of course, received an understandably angry response from the SuicideGirls. Although, looking at this story from a different perspective, you could say that Richard Prince simply gave in to the beauty of the girls and couldn’t help but make their images a work of art.

The SuicideGirls Community

 

In the words of Missy Suicide:  “The female nude form is the most celebrated subject matter in all of art history.”  No wonder Mr. Prince was so drawn to these fiercely beautiful girls!

 

There is more to it, than the nudes

Posting pin-up style nudes on the website and social accounts, however, is only a fraction of what goes on in the world of the SuicideGirls. There are books, DVDs, comics, prints, clothing and of course, the fabulous Burlesque Shows! The SuicideGirls website also features discussion groups on virtually anything: “You can meet people that are interested in not only alternative beauty, but also interested in classic cars or UK politics or vegan cooking.”

The SuicideGirls Community. Blackheart Burlesque

As for The Burlesque shows, those are yet another form of art that the girls bring to life. Even though the reviews are a mixed bag, with some people being underwhelmed, most are still left spellbound by the performances. Girls from the audience are often asked to come on stage and perform a dance of their own. This maybe terrifying for the shy ones, but overcoming the initial fear of stage can serve as an incredible confidence boost. After all, helping women realize they are beautiful in their uniqueness is a noble mission of Suicide Girls.

The SuicideGirls CommunityThe SuicideGirls Community

Some may frown upon Suicide Girls for promoting “the fact that women can embrace their bodies and their sexuality” so openly. Still, as our society progresses, so do the standards of beauty. Suicide Girls play an important role in helping us redefine what we see as beautiful. They help girls around the world gain confidence and be unapologetically themselves. And so it seems that future holds much promise for this international community of daring, gorgeous girls!

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