The Full Wiki

SuicideGirls.com: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to SuicideGirls article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SuicideGirls
Suicidegirlslogo.jpg
URL SuicideGirls.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site softcore pin-up photos
Registration Yes
Owner Alec Jain & Selena Mooney
Launched Late 2001

SuicideGirls is a website that features softcore pin-up-style photos and text profiles of goth, punk and indie-styled young women (although styles reminiscent of the 1940s and '50s pin-up models are also incorporated) who themselves are known as the "Suicide Girls". The site also functions as an online community with member profiles and message boards, and features interviews with major figures in both popular and alternative culture. Access to most of the site requires a paid membership.

Contents

History

Founders

The SuicideGirls website and concept were created by the founding partners of parent company SG Services, Inc., Alec Jain ("ACE") and Selena Mooney ("Missy Suicide") in late 2001, and based in Portland, Oregon. In 2003, the site operations moved to Los Angeles, California. Jain and Mooney started the site "just to see hot punk rock girls naked." Mooney has also stated that the purpose of the site is to give women control over how their sexuality is depicted. The site is privately co-owned; in addition to Jain and Mooney, co-owners include Steve Simitzis (server admin and SG user, "s5"). Simitzis' wife Olivia Ball (former site programmer and Suicide Girl) was also described as an owner, but as of 2006, is no longer listed among the staff of SuicideGirls.[1][2]

Origin of the name

The term "suicide girl" is credited to a usage by Fight Club author and Portland resident Chuck Palahniuk, in his novel Survivor. Mooney previously confirmed this novel as the source for the name in the Suicide Girls FAQ[3] but has since removed the reference.

As a trademark applied to the website, and related merchandise and media, the term "SuicideGirls" is a single word, though this camel notation is often violated by external sources who split it into two words. The girls themselves, on the other hand, are referred to as "Suicide Girls".[4]

Website features

The website features a community created around the pin-up photos of the Suicide Girls. The members and the models all have the option to have a profile, keep journals, upload their own photos and videos. There are message boards, public and private groups and a chat room in which members can communicate with one another. There is a local feature in which members post their favorite local haunts, tattoo parlors or businesses. Members in your area and regional groups are highlighted as well as a calendar of events and a map of your area are listed with the location of the previously mentioned businesses. The site features interviews and an ongoing newswire with celebrity columnists. There is an "Army" of members that promote the site online and offline. SuicideGirls merchandise is also available for sale on the site. The models can keep and write their journals in any language.

Photosets

The model Bullet, exhibiting the multiple piercings and tattoos characteristic of SuicideGirls.

The images are collected into "photosets" that contain 40-60 images that take place in the same setting or theme. Originally, only one photoset went live on the site per day, though this eventually increased to two or more every day. As of March 2008 there are nearly 1.9 million images live on the site. The photographs are intended both as an homage to classic pin-up art and a portrayal of alternative images of beauty. The SuicideGirls are tasked with creating the theme of each of their photosets, and each is designed to showcase how each girl feels most beautiful about themselves.

Actress Paget Brewster has photographed models for the site,[5] as have guitarist Dave Navarro and singer Mike Doughty.[6]

Models

As of March 2008 the website features nearly 1,800 Suicide Girls, each billed simply under a first name or one-word nickname. Most of the models have non-traditional colored hair/dreadlocks, piercings/body modifications, or tattoos. They are represented by professional photo shoots as well as self-written profiles and journal entries which they update as often as they see fit with their thoughts, snapshots, anecdotes, rants, and whatever else they wish to include. The girls themselves are involved directly with the community and interact in groups and on boards. Members can send the models private messages as well. The site receives over 1,000 applications from new models interested in becoming Suicide Girls every week.

Website demographics

SuicideGirls claims that 43 percent of the website's paid members are women, and that the nude photos rate less than 20 percent of the website's traffic. Members are often active in organizing meetings and events offline, and the company also sponsors many itself. A recent interview with Sean Suhl revealed that the majority of their profits came from their merchandise, not their memberships.

Online Popularity

According to the website, over 1,000,000 unique visitors a week visit SuicideGirls.com. However, according to domain industry tracking sites, such as Domain Tools [1], the actual online traffic figure is only about 180,000 unique visitors per month. The Alexa trend rankings [2], as of December 2008, also show the number of visitors to the site has declined in recent months. The overall Alexa ranking still makes suicidegirls.com among the most popular sites tracked by Alexa, placing the site in the top 1% of websites generating consistent, unique user traffic.

International reach

Although most of the Suicide Girls are American, the site features girls from every continent including Antarctica. Canada and the UK also have large communities of SuicideGirls. Payments are accepted from every country in the world, and the girls can write their blogs in any language they wish. The girls' FAQ is available in various languages as well.

Suicide Girls from various countries, such as France or Italy, have their own MySpace pages, promoting the site and their lifestyle. SuicideGirls has also been featured in several international press outlets including People Magazine Australia, Tattoo Girls Japan, MTV Italy, Arte French TV, and Emeequis magazine in Mexico.

Media coverage and spinoffs

Front cover of the 2004 SuicideGirls book, credited to photographer Missy Suicide. The cover model, "Mary", is one of the website's most popular models.
Sam Doumit signing the Suicide Girls mag/book at San Diego ComicCon 2007.According to IMDB, She is the face of the Suicide Girls logo.[7]

Positive reviews of the SuicideGirls site have appeared in Rolling Stone, Wired, The New Yorker and other mainstream magazines. It was featured in a 2006 episode of the CBS program, CSI: NY, titled "Oedipus Hex" (guest-starring Missy Suicide),[8] and also on HBO's Real Sex special, on ABC's Nightline, on the G4 series Icons, and on the Showtime series Californication. A number of Suicide Girls also appeared in the 2007 remake of The Wizard of Gore directed by Jeremy Kasten and starring Crispin Glover. The literary magazine Fence used a Suicide Girl for the cover of a recent issue. Rock musician Courtney Love is a member of the site, and, in the past, has written "rambling, stream-of-consciousness posts on the site."[9] She also brought along three Suicide Girls (Emma, Robin & Ruby) during an appearance on MTV's 24 hours of Love. Sixty-six Suicide Girls appeared in the PROBOT music video "Shake Your Blood". Other notable reviews on these group of women came from the Boston Phoenix in 2007 called "The Naked Sorority" and "The Naked Sorority Part II", which observed the girls and ended up with an insight article on this phenomenon.

Newswire and interviews

The SG newswire features daily columns, news items and feature interviews covering a diverse range of subjects: politics, music, film, celebrity, gaming and technology, philosophy, love and relationships, spirituality, and food. Feature articles cover the world of arts and entertainment from underground niche artists to award winning filmmakers, directors, authors and recording artists. SG fields a team of journalists who go on location to movie sets, video shoots, press conferences, and cover festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, CMJ, SXSW, the Tribeca Film Festival, and ComicCon events around the nation. SG also has an embedded war reporter Michael J. Totten who frequently publishes news, commentary and features from the front lines of the crisis in the Middle East on the SG newswire. The newswire provides a forum for the SG community to read up on areas of interest and discuss and share their own opinions about the material on the newswire message boards.

The newswire has featured celebrity columnists such as:

SG's feature interviews include both cult and high-profile talent such as:

SG also produces a weekly radio show on Indie 103.1 FM in Los Angeles, broadcasting every Sunday night from 12 midnight to 2 am PST. The show had been running for 4 years and Indie 103.1 has been named the "Best Radio Station 2008" by Rolling Stone Magazine. On the show, Suicide Girls take phone calls, give advice, discuss current events and play music. Past phone-in and in-person guests on the show have included Maynard James Keenan, Mindless Self Indulgence, Dave Navarro, Tom Green, the Melvins, Rob Corddry, Ron Jeremy and more. Past Radio Show guest interviews can be downloaded as podcasts from the website. Indie 103.1 is no longer broadcasting over the air and is now a streaming-media station online.

Other celebrity members include:

Wheaton, Corddry and Isaacs are contributors to the SuicideGirls Newswire. Kesselman is a columnist.

DVD

Two DVDs have been produced under the name SuicideGirls. "SuicideGirls: The First Tour" released on August 30, 2005 by Epitaph records and "SuicideGirls: The Italian Villa" released on October 24, 2006. Both were directed by Mike Marshall. The films aired on the US Cable network Showtime in regular rotations beginning in October 2005 and November 2006 respectively. "SuicideGirls: The First Tour" chronicles the lives of 10 performers on the first North American Burlesque Tour produced by SuicideGirls, while "SuicideGirls: The Italian Villa" features interviews and photo shoots of 15 girls from European countries including, Italy, The UK, Finland, and Sweden.

The Burlesque tour

The SuicideGirls have completed five North American headlining tours beginning in May 2003. They have performed at clubs such as: Emo's in Austin, TX; Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, and The Empty Bottle in Chicago. The SuicideGirls performed in the 2004 Download Festival, the 2004 Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK, and toured Australia from April to May 2005. The SuicideGirls Live show opened for Courtney Love on her 2004 West Coast tour. They also opened for the Guns n' Roses 2006 tour of the US and Canada playing stadiums of 15,000 people including the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL, the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, OR and the James H. Hilton Coliseum in Ames, IA.

Books

SuicideGirls has published two books.

The first book entitled "SuicideGirls" was originally published June 1, 2004. Published by Feral House. It is approximately 160 pages long and contains over 200 color digital photos that originally appeared on the website. The images were photographed by Missy Suicide and feature primarily the models from the west coast of the United States. Popular SuicideGirls model "Mary" had the SG logo digitally placed on her biceps to appear tattooed on for the cover of the book. ISBN 1932595031. The book received the 2005 Independent Publisher Book Award in Erotica.

Magazines

SuicideGirls has published Two issues of its magazine. The first, entitled "SuicideGirls: Papercuts", was published in March, 2007. The magazine is 72 pages long and contains collage-style images of models from the website, as well as 6 interviews that also originally appeared on the site:

"SuicideGirls Magazine: No. 2" was published in July, 2007. This issue is 86 pages long and continues the collage-style format of the previous issue, along with interviews accompanied by illustrations of the interviewees:

The magazine published shortly after the death of SG's star interviewer, Daniel Robert Epstein, was dedicated to him in a handwritten note from Missy Suicide in the back cover of the issue. Both issues were designed and art directed by Courtney Riot.

Charities

PETA

On Valentines Day of 2008, the SuicideGirls partnered with the animal rights group Peta2 by starring in a series of sexy ads for their anti-fur campaign.

Pinups For Soldiers

SG Pinups for Soldiers is a SuicideGirls.com project committed to sending some SG cheer to the US troops located overseas. They send care packages full of pinup photos of SG's both from their sets and from other projects they are creating specifically for this cause, as well as other SG advertising material such as stickers, cards, etc.

Controversies

Image removal

In September 2005, SuicideGirls announced[20] that it had removed a large number of images from its pages, fearing scrutiny in the U.S. Justice Department's so-called war on porn. The images involved depicted bondage, knives or swords, or simulated blood. The Justice Department indicated that images of that type might be the subject of obscenity prosecutions, though SuicideGirls was not mentioned as a target. Because SuicideGirls was never mentioned as a target, some have accused the site of using the "war on porn" as an excuse to remove some images that they no longer wanted on their site while shifting the blame for the image removal to the Justice Department. In January 2007, the "banned" images were made visible again.[21]

Censorship

In 2005, a number of the paid models were reported to have resigned from the site or had their memberships revoked in connection with allegations of censorship and mistreatment of the models by the site's owners.[22] Numerous members have reported that their journals and message board posts were removed because they criticized management. This practice of deleting either objectionable content, disagreeable content, or membership altogether is referred to by Suicide Girls staffers as "zotting".

Exclusivity agreement and lawsuits

A primary issue is the SuicideGirls modeling contract, which prevents its models (including past models, for a time) from working for competing sites or agencies (specifically those dealing in nude photography or erotica).[23] In response to this, the SuicideGirls website states that only models "who have chosen to be involved in special projects" sign an exclusivity agreement in addition to their standard modeling contract barring them working with direct competitors for a certain amount of time.[1] However, the standard modeling agreement for SuicideGirls includes a "Non-Competition" clause, barring any model that signs it from modeling for an "SG Competitor" during the one or more years in which the model is under contract with SuicideGirls, plus an additional two years.[24] Many models, however, have received many mainstream modeling jobs from the exposure gained through SuicideGirls.[25]

Many of the former models involved in the 2005 dispute are now involved with the competing sites GodsGirls and Deviant Nation. Deviant Nation was sued in civil court by SuicideGirls. Gods Girls have been sued by SuicideGirls LLC for hiring models who were allegedly still under contract with SuicideGirls and for allegedly violating SuicideGirls trademarks. Several former models were also threatened with legal action.[23][26] In November 2006, SuicideGirls fired one of their main photographers, Philip Warner, (aka Lithium Picnic), for acting as the primary photographer for the website of former SuicideGirl Apnea. The termination was followed in February 2007 by a lawsuit by SuicideGirls against Warner.[27][28][29] According to a press release by Warner and Apnea, as of February 2007, none of SuicideGirls LLC's lawsuits or threatened actions against former models or competing sites has resulted in a victory for the plaintiff, however, the legal expenses in the lawsuits have been costly and time consuming for the defendants.[27] In June 2008, Lithium Picnic and Apnea issued a press release stating "We all sat down together and worked out an agreement that is really fair to everyone... We want to make it clear that we 100% have no hostilities towards SuicideGirls in any way anymore, we all came to a really fair agreement over this dispute, and there were no bad people here, just mistakes and misunderstandings."[30]

Controversy regarding ownership

Critics have also charged that SuicideGirls has dishonestly claimed to be a women-owned and women-operated business[31], when it is actually co-owned by Sean Suhl, who is listed as Company President. According to business' filing with the Oregon State government, Sean Suhl is the only authorized representative listed for the company[32], which makes him the exclusive legal owner of the business. The "women-owned and women-operated" statement was also repeated in the CSI: NY episode. The DVD, SuicideGirls: The First Tour, implies ownership, creation, and control by Missy Suicide. No mention of Sean Suhl appears.

Criticism by models

A number of former models accuse Suicide Girls of failing to remain true to their signature feminist-friendly marketing. Many models, lured by suggestions of alternative sexual expression, are now concerned by what they consider indications that contradict professed ideas of empowerment.[33]

In a feature piece released in 2005, alternative weekly publication The Boston Phoenix, reported on former models' dissatisfaction with company practices. Models interviewed referred to Suicide Girls president Sean Suhl as “verbally abusive” and an “active misogynist”, and described the website as a “slap in the face to feminism”.[34]

In a transcript of Suicide Girls hearing with rival site Godsgirls, Suhl's attorney refers to models facing inconvenience in attending a postponed audit as not "Nobel peace prize traveling women from around the world" but rather "strippers and nude models", to this he adds "not being prejudice. Just being honest".[35]

Other allegations surrounding the site's administration have appeared in a number of well-established publications including New York Press and Wired magazine.

According to statistics released by the website, in July 2005 one girl left, followed by 11 in August, 25 in September, and 11 in October. According to former models interviewed in a feature piece by Silicon Valley's magazine Metro Active, this is part of the general homogenization of the site, "a process that alternative subcultures are unfortunately used to".[36]

References

  1. ^ a b SuicideGirls. "The Trash Can". http://suicidegirls.com/trash/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  2. ^ "About SuicideGirls", Suicidegirls.com.
  3. ^ SuicideGirls. "What does the term SuicideGirls mean?". http://web.archive.org/web/20050113180619/http://suicidegirls.com/press/faq/. Retrieved 2005-01-13.  
  4. ^ SuicideGirls. "Who are the suicide girls?". http://suicidegirls.com/girls/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  5. ^ Paget Brewster’s ''Criminal'' past | Paget Brewster | Television News | TV | Entertainment Weekly
  6. ^ http://suicidegirls.com/albums/girls/celeb/
  7. ^ Sam Doumit biography @ IMDB
  8. ^ CBS. "Oedipus Hex". http://www.cbs.com/primetime/csi_ny/episodes/305/. Retrieved 2007-04-19.  
  9. ^ "The Calculated Assault of Suicidegirls.com" by Amy Roe, Willamette Week, March 19, 2003.
  10. ^ SuicideGirls. "Ian". http://suicidegirls.com/members/Scott_Ian/. Retrieved 2007-11-16.  
  11. ^ SuicideGirls. "Zuiker". http://suicidegirls.com/members/Zuiker/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  12. ^ SuicideGirls. "Wil Wheaton". http://suicidegirls.com/members/WilWheaton/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  13. ^ SuicideGirls. "Rob Corddry". http://suicidegirls.com/members/Rob_Corddry/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  14. ^ SuicideGirls. "RStevens". http://suicidegirls.com/members/RStevens/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  15. ^ SuicideGirls. "Halsparks". http://suicidegirls.com/members/Halsparks/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  16. ^ SuicideGirls. "SteveIsaacs". http://suicidegirls.com/members/SteveIsaacs/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  17. ^ SuicideGirls. "DaveNavarro". http://suicidegirls.com/members/DN6767/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  18. ^ SuicideGirls. "Jon_Kesselman". http://suicidegirls.com/members/Jon_Kesselman/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  19. ^ SuicideGirls > Members > Chris_Gore
  20. ^ SuicideGirls. "SG Removing Pictures, You Can Thank Bush". http://suicidegirls.com/boards/Everything+SG/81705/page1/. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  21. ^ SuicideGirls. "*cough* candyass *cough*". http://suicidegirls.com/boards/Everything+SG/108589/. Retrieved 2007-02-01.  
  22. ^ "SuicideGirls Gone AWOL" by Randy Dotinga, Wired September 28, 2005.
  23. ^ a b "Suicide Defense" by Ian Demsky, Willamette Week, January 11, 2006.
  24. ^ SuicideGirls. "Model_Agreement". http://suicidegirls.com/img/Model_Agreement.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-14.  
  25. ^ SuicideGirls. "model testimonial". http://suicidegirls.com/press/trash/testimonials/#twwly. Retrieved 2007-04-19.  
  26. ^ "Suicide Girls Gone Mad" by Esther Haynes, Jane
  27. ^ a b "Lithium Picnic Legal Fund" by Apneatic, Lithium Picnic LiveJournal Community, February 13, 2007.
  28. ^ "SuicideGirls vs. Lithium Picnic", Fleshbot, February 16, 2007.
  29. ^ "SuicideGirls Sues Lithium Picnic Photographer Philip Warner" by Justin Bourne, AVN Online, June 15, 2007.
  30. ^ http://www.lithiumpicnic.com/
  31. ^ http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/01.04.06/suicidegirls-0601.html "Obscene But Not Heard"
  32. ^ "Business Registry Business Name Search"
  33. ^ Suicide Girls' exodus - The F-Word
  34. ^ News & Features | SuicideGirls revolt
  35. ^ http://www.mediafire.com/?djydgger491
  36. ^ News & Culture in Silicon Valley | Suicide Girls

External links

Critics

Articles








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message