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SuicideGirls founder Missy Suicide talks Blackheart Burlesque, nerds, and acceptance

Missy Suicide

Missy Suicide Photo by Erica Danger

Tattoos, tassels, and sexy Stormtroopers will be on display inside of the Pourhouse Friday night when the nerdiest, sexiest burlesque worldwide tour comes back to town.

For over 16 years, SuicideGirls has been the gold standard for alt-models, putting a twist on the traditional idea of beauty. Pin-up girls covered in tattoos, sporting body piercings, and having bodies in all different shapes and sizes have been their hallmarks.

Blackheart Burlesque, which brings the Suicide Girls from the web to the live stage, is an extension of what founder Missy Suicide set out to do back in 2001.

“The goal has always been about embracing what makes women feel uniquely beautiful,” she says. “The world is catching up in terms of accepting women who are confident, comfortable, and in control of their own bodies.”

The show has been touring the globe for roughly six years, with a regularly rotating cast of performers and pop-culture inspired themes. Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter have all been popular performances, bringing together a mix of nerdy, sexy, and badass. *The new tour has a Rick & Morty-inspired performance, as nerding-out continues to evolve.

While some of the tried-and-true themes will be a part of the Minneapolis show Friday, Missy is quick to point out that the key to keeping things fresh is to keep audiences guessing.

“We’ve got a contortionist this time, but I don’t want to say too much about it and ruin the surprise,” she says.

In terms of how the SG brand has grow over the years, Missy has seen the success both from the size of their audience, as well as her own personal experience.

Fabien Photography

Fabien Photography

“I was doing everything,” she laughs, recalling her early days. “I was taking photos, designing sets, marketing through social media. Honestly embracing social media early on is what really allowed us to grow. We were one of the first ones to really come along and realize social media wasn’t just serial killers or murderers.”

Today, in addition to the pin-up site, the SuicideGirls empire includes movies, games, books, and the live show experience.

“What’s great now is I don’t have to work as hard to get people to understand what SuicideGirls is all about,” Missy says. “When we started, it was much tougher to get people to accept us. Back then all the models you saw were either super skinny, stick-figure models, or they were blondes pumped full of silicon. Now that people realize that beauty doesn’t have to look a certain way, I can focus more on conceiving new endeavors and bringing them to life.”

While Blackheart Burlesque attracts plenty of curious first-timers, Missy says that there is a dedicated fanbase that have come along for the ride with her all of these years.

“People come to our shows who have met their partners, gotten married, and had babies all because they met each other through SuicideGirls,” she explains. “We have an audience participation portion of the show, and when we were in Oklahoma City, we pulled a guy on stage who had met his girlfriend at our show two years earlier. Now they’re engaged.”

Whether you’re trying to meet the love of your life or just get a good look at a sexy Hermione Granger, the original spirit of embracing beauty and expecting the unexpected will be very much alive Friday night.

IF YOU GO:

SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque
The Pourhouse
7 p.m. Friday, April
$25-$65, 18+
Find tickets here

Image courtesy SuicideGirls

Image courtesy SuicideGirls