Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Last updated: 1 year ago

SuicideGirls launches cross-Canada burlesque tour in Vancouver

Popularly known for celebrating alternative models of feminine beauty, the SuicideGirls online community has launched a cross-Canada burlesque stage show. Photo courtesy SuicideGirls

Popularly known for celebrating alternative models of feminine beauty, the SuicideGirls online community has launched a cross-Canada burlesque stage show. Photo courtesy SuicideGirls

Girls. Tattoos. Nudity.

Bring them onto a social networking platform and you get the Suicide Girls. Mutinous, dark, subversive — with a name one might otherwise expect from a punk rock band, the brand embodies rebelliousness in an attempt to challenge the social norms and taboos of our time.

Launched in 2001, SuicideGirls was a major social networking site long before the rise of Facebook and Twitter. It’s also a pinup website that features sexy, nude images of girls of varying body types, and serves as a platform for fans who appreciate these girls.

“SuicideGirls is named after the girls who commit social suicide by choosing not to fit into the society’s social dictates,” said Missy Suicide, co-founder of the website.

In celebration of the SuicideGirls community and the individual members’ own sexuality, the brand recently launched its cross-Canada Blackheart Burlesque performance tour. The tour previously travelled across the U.S. and Europe for five years in the early 2000s. Every show features a series of stripteases; five burlesque dancers sway to jazzy rhythms while removing their lingerie piece by piece.

In a culture obsessed with silicone-enhanced bodies, the Suicide Girls have set out to create a community that can appreciate alternative beauty. “We’ve got girls that are amputees, girls that have skin conditions, girls with different body types, and they all express themselves in different ways,” Missy Suicide said. “I get letters from girls all the time saying that they didn’t feel beautiful until they saw a girl who looked like them on SuicideGirls.

“Overall, our society has become more accepting to different styles of girls. But there’s still quite a long way to go before every person feels beautiful and confident about themselves.”

Suicide notes that, despite the popularity of networks like SuicideGirls, sexuality remains a socially taboo topic; even now, some people frown and scold if one speaks too passionately about it. But the Suicide Girls endeavor to make discussions of sexuality explicit; not only does the brand invite open conversation about the subject, professional photo shoots are designed for the girls to showcase their sexuality.

“Every person has a nude body and most adults engage in some sort of sexual activity,” said Suicide. “They should enjoy themselves and not be embarrassed of it. The photo sets on SuicideGirls are about how the girls want to be portrayed and how they feel sexiest about themselves.”

For the Blackheart Burlesque tour, Suicide aims to honour the history of the burlesque performance style while also injecting humour into the show.

“We used a lot of pop culture references. The girls are really into comic books and video games, so we draw lots of inspirations from that. It’s not like big spender, traditional burlesque shows,” said Suicide. “We still take the same sexy tease element and set it to modern soundtrack such as [the] Arctic Monkeys and Marilyn Manson. It’s going to be a very fun show.”

The Canadian Blackheart Burlesque Show’s first stop is at the Rickshaw Theatre on Wednesday, April 2, at 8 p.m.