Interview: Missy Suicide, Founder of SuicideGirls

Missy Suicide

Meet Missy Suicide (aka  Selena Mooney), founder of SuicideGirls and subsequently the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque. For those unfamiliar with the SuicideGirls, they are and organization about empowering women to have body positivity regardless of race, body size, looks or whether a woman fits into “societal norms”. They are a group about inclusion and spreading confidence among women.

What started out in 2001 as an online community has grown over the years into an organization that has a strong online and real world presence.  As more and more women have find out about the SuicideGirls along with a community that openly welcomes men to be a part of the website and take part in their live show, the SuicideGirls have built an become a well-known and successful brand.

Their online community allows people to connect with each other as well as provide support for alternative looking women (body tattoos, body modifications, women of all shape, sizes, race, etc).  Their live burlesque shows are also built around this ideology of body positivity and inclusion of all types of women, along with the ultimate nerdy themes that are added to their shows that aren’t typically seen as mainstream. 

Inclusiveness in today’s world is something I can stand behind so I felt it was important to chat with Missy Suicide about the SuicideGirls and how it all came about as well as what’s coming up this year for the organization. We need more kindness, tolerance and inclusiveness and this organization is one that is making it happen. Take some time to get to know this incredible woman and learn about what the SuicideGirls are all about and what 2018 holds for them and the fans!

Two ways to check this interview out, audio and written word. Both are below.  Make sure to check out the 2018 tour dates for the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque and get out and support the message these women are sending out to everyone. You can also check out our review from their recent Austin, TX show here.

Interview with Missy Suicide:

YesterdazeNews: Hi, Missy. How are you today?

Missy Suicide: Doing good. How are you?

I am great. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk to me.

Thank you for having me.

Can we just dive in and talk about SuicideGirls and how everything came about?

So I started SuicideGirls 17 years ago as a place where the girls that I knew, the girls with piercings and tattoos could be appreciated for being beautiful. I was inspired by Bunny Yeager’s photos of Bettie Page. There was just something so beautiful about how another woman photographed her. That was surprisingly … It was just refreshing how confident, and comfortable, and beautiful she looked, and about the female gaze.

I started SuicideGirls as a place where the girls that I knew could be treated with the same sort of respect in their images, and I created a community around them where they could express themselves in their own words, and share their thoughts and feelings, as well as their images. It started as a community site back in 2001 before Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or Myspace or any of that, and we’ve had thousands of people meet and get married from the site, businesses that have been made, and countless best friendships and relationships that have started because met on SuicideGirls.

That’s amazing. Now, you’ve got this great platform for people who do have different styles of how they look. How do you feel over the years since you’ve created SuicideGirls that it’s taken … You said 2001. We’re here in 2018. Do you think that there’s been a shift in how people look at women who are different now?

 I do. I feel like it’s become more socially acceptable to express yourself and not fit into the mold, if you will. I think that it’s been refreshing to see. I think that there’s still a long way to go, but it’s definitely … We’re heading in the right direction. It’s a positive.

Absolutely. Now, SuicideGirls also does a burlesque show. SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque. How involved are you with that as well?

Pretty involved. As a company, we do everything ourselves. We book the shows. The tour manager is a SuicideGirl, the choreographer is a SuicideGirl. Everybody involved in just about every step of the way. All of the promotions girls are SuicideGirls. It’s kind of a homespun sort of grassroots business. While I don’t dance, I leave that to the choreographer, I do help come up with conceiving some of the numbers.

All of the numbers are pop culture themed, so they’re all based on movies or comic books or video games, TV shows. Things that inspire us. It’s a super sexy fun show that is set to a really amazing soundtrack. It’s a little bit unlike anything you’re going to see any place else.

Yeah, because I know I’ve seen some of the photos from some of your shows and you guys have had Stormtrooper helmets. You guys have some really cool choreography. It’s a really cool visual thing. What I’ve noticed too besides just being this really cool visual show is that the confidence in the women that are part of the show. How do you pick the women that are part of the burlesque group?

They all audition. The confidence, it’s infectious. The entire crowd, by the end of it they’re real women and all the dancers are very different body types, very different ethnicities, very different dancers, but they all exude this super confident, comfortable, they’re having so much and enjoying themselves so much the audience is just … They can’t get enough. The dancers feed off the love that the audience gives and the audience feeds off the love that dancers give. It’s really a unique sort of experience.

 I think a lot of people that aren’t really familiar with burlesque, they probably think that’s kind of … “Oh, maybe it’s a strip show,” or something and that it’s a guy-drive thing. Do you find that your audiences are really balanced or are they more women at the shows than there are men?

There tends to be more women. It’s a really beautiful, empowering thing. Like I said, it’s rare that you see a woman just comfortable, and confident, and happy, and radiating life and love while she’s up there naked flaws and all. You know?

Absolutely.

Just being herself. I feel like women can identify with that really strongly. Because we do have such a diverse cast most women can find a girl that look similar to them up on the stage. Up there radiating confidence and comfort and just having the time of her life, and putting herself out there, and the audience loving. I feel like it’s really a positive experience for the women that attend.

What does 2018 look like for the SuicideGirls? We’re in March now and I know you guys have tours coming up. What’s this year going to be about?

Well, this year we’re touring quite a bit. We’re doing this US tour and then I think we’re touring again in the fall. It’s a lot of tours this year. I think that’s the main thing that we’ve got going on this year.

I think it’s really awesome to talk to people that empower body positivity and inclusiveness. It’s something that we need to do. I think we’re getting there finally, where people are really starting to accept more people and the differences that we all have. We’re all so alike, even with our differences, and I really appreciate what you guys’ organization do to really inspire women to accept themselves and to accept other women. It’s a really cool thing that you guys do, and I really wanted to say thank you for giving women this beautiful outlet.

Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for appreciating it. It’s so rewarding to see a girl gain so much confidence and comfort, transform. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.

You’re this far into SuicideGirls and the SuicideGirls website, and everything that’s been going on all these years. Is there anything else that you guys want to expand and do that you haven’t done yet?

I feel like there’s lots of stuff. We can do TV and movies. We’ve done movies. We could do TV shows. We can do makeup line. We can do hair care. There’s just so much that … We still have so much of the world that we still have left to conquer.

Anything that you want to tell people that are fans of what you guys are doing?

They should come to the burlesque show because it’s really just a beautiful experience. It’s like the website … If you’ve just been on the website it’s like all of the good feels and positive all surrounding you and the energy, it’s just amazing and it’s such a fun show. Like I said, it’s sexy, it’s silly, it sets the mood, and it’s really a fun experience.

Thank you so much for your time. It was really great talking to you. Everyone that’s listening to this, you guys have got to get out there and check out the show. You’re not going to find a place that’s more inclusive and the atmosphere is just overwhelmingly positive and body positive. Thank you for what you’ve been doing Missy Suicide. This has just been an awesome chat.

Thank you so much.

Remaining 2018 Tour Dates (Subject to Change, so verify on their website)
APRIL 25 – CAVALIER THEATER – LA CROSSE, WI
APRIL 26 – WOOLY’S – DES MOINES, IA
APRIL 27 – THE POURHOUSE – MINNEAPOLIS, MN
APRIL 28 – SLOWDOWN – OMAHA, NE
APRIL 30 – RIALTO BOZEMAN – BOZEMAN, MT
MAY 02 – THE SHOWBOX – SEATTLE, WA
MAY 03 – REVOLUTION HALL – PORTLAND, OR
MAY 04 – MCDONALD THEATRE – EUGENE, OR
MAY 05 – CREST THEATRE – SACRAMENTO, CA
MAY 06 – PALACE OF FINE ARTS THEATRE – SAN FRANCISCO, CA
MAY 08 – THE RITZ – SAN JOSE, CA
MAY 09 – THE RITZ – SAN JOSE, CA
MAY 10 – STRUMMER’S – FRESNO, CA
MAY 11 – FREMONT – SAN LUIS OBISPO
MAY 12 – THE REGENT THEATER – LOS ANGELES, CA
SEP 08 – FOX TUCSON THEATRE – TUCSON, AZ
SEP 09 – MARQUEE THEATRE – TEMPE, AZ
SEP 12 – KIMO THEATRE – ALBUQUERQUE, NM
SEP 13 – THE BLACK SHEEP – COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
SEP 14 – SUMMIT MUSIC HALL – DENVER, CO
SEP 15 – THE COTILLION BALLROOM – WICHITA, KS
SEP 16 – TOWER THEATRE – OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
SEP 19 – SHELDON CONCERT HALL – ST. LOUIS, MO
SEP 20 – MINGLEWOOD HALL – MEMPHIS, TN
SEP 21 – GAS MONKEY LIVE! – DALLAS, TX
SEP 22 – WAREHOUSE LIVE – HOUSTON, TX
SEP 23 – EMO’S – AUSTIN, TX
SEP 28 – TAMPA THEATRE – TAMPA, FL
SEP 29 – PLAZA LIVE ORLANDO – ORLANDO, FL
OCT 05 – THE HOWARD THEATRE – WASHINGTON, DC
OCT 06 – TOWN HALL – NEW YORK, NY
OCT 07 – BALTIMORE SOUNDSTAGE – BALTIMORE, MD
OCT 09 – THEATRE OF LIVING ARTS – PHILADELPHIA, PA
OCT 11 – UPSTATE CONCERT HALL – CLIFTON PARK, NY
OCT 12 – COLLEGE STREET MUSIC HALL – NEW HAVEN, CT
OCT 13 – ROYALE NIGHTCLUB – BOSTON, MA
OCT 14 – STATE THEATRE – PORTLAND, ME
OCT 16 – HIGHER GROUND BALLROOM – SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT
OCT 17 – TOWN BALLROOM – BUFFALO, NY
OCT 18 – REX THEATER – PITTSBURGH, PA
OCT 19 – DUKE ENERGY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS – RALEIGH, NC
OCT 20 – CENTER STAGE THEATER – ATLANTA, GA
OCT 21 – SATURN – BIRMINGHAM, AL
OCT 23 – COSMIC CHARLIE’S – LEXINGTON, KY
OCT 24 – AGORA THEATRE – CLEVELAND, OH
OCT 27 – PATIO THEATER – CHICAGO, IL
OCT 30 – MAJESTIC THEATRE – MADISON, WI

Connect with the SuicideGirls online: http://blackheartburlesque.com

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About Diane Webb 594 Articles
I am rock music fanatic, writer, photographer & traveler with severe wanderlust. Music, travel and enjoying life is key! Follow me on Instagram: @yesterdazenews and on Facebook: @YesterdazeNewsPhotography