What Is ‘Suicide Girls’?

This is my fourth year working with Suicide Girls as a photographer, almost exclusively. Whilst I do photograph other things, it’s pretty rare and I consider SG to be my ‘main job’ – although I am technically a self-employed freelance photographer. Focusing mainly on SG is something that happened gradually since I first started working with them but it was definitely a conscious decision of mine.
I used to shoot for a number of UK glamour magazine as well as syndicating images worldwide but I very quickly realised the unique attitude SG have towards nude modelling (particularly towards the models themselves as well as their fabulous ‘fuck you’ to traditional beauty standards) and the amazing, supportive and respectful fanbase they have attracted over the years. It’s something I wanted to be a part of and it’s something that, once you are involved, makes it difficult to be involved with other companies that don’t come with such a positive passion towards women and redefining beauty.

As amazing as I think SG is, many people don’t actually know exactly what it is – sometimes girls even apply or email me for information regarding photoshoots without fully realising the concept of what SG and being and SG is. Some don’t realise there’s even a website and many aren’t aware that it features nude modelling it a similar way to Playboy but with very different models.

As someone that’s always been alternative, I can remember SG back in the early days on MySpace. I was never a member (didn’t realise that was even a thing) but I enjoyed seeing all these confident girls with radically different looks to eachother and, now, my best friend from that time is a Suicide Girl! Over ten years later and we shot for SG, they loved her and bought her first set – such a cool moment for us both.

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A more recent photo of my school friend now known as Vareon Suicide.

When you’ve always known of SG, it doesn’t seem that weird but to someone hearing about it for the first time, a brand with the name ‘Suicide’ in the title can be a little difficult to explain! It’s nothing to do with suicide, only referencing the idea of women that have committed social suicide by the way that they look – having too many tattoos or piercings, brightly coloured hair or simply the way that they are in terms of personality. Things that women have struggled with concealing as ‘negative’ attributes – too feisty, too bossy, too promiscuous…too opinionated! It might be women that have disabilities that hold them back from modelling elsewhere or women that are ‘too short’, ‘too muscular’ or ‘not thin enough’ for what is expected of mainstream fashion models – or maybe they are ‘too thin’, ‘too old’ or their boobs ‘too small’ for mainstream glamour modelling.

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Suicide Girls is an online membership community that has evolved over the years to what it is now, which is pretty similar to a social media site like Facebook. You have a profile page, followers, blogs, status updates, bio information, private inboxes as well as an array of different groups you can join – some open, some private. Some are fun, lighthearted groups and some are very special safe spaces for its members to speak openly amongst a small group where others cannot see. These groups range from anything to do with your love of cats or butts to personal battles with your weight, mental health and even private groups for survivors of sexual assault or those that have suffered miscarriages. Somewhere you can find likeminded individuals no matter what your situation. Profiles are set out as mine in the example above, the home button takes you to your feed which is where you see posts from those that you follow. You can browse profiles, groups or simply just photos where you will find the nude photosets in member review. You can see my activity on my page as well as my two most recent blog posts, some girls are more active than others though.

Aside from the social media aspect, there are, of course, the models themselves. The Suicide Girls as well as the ‘Hopefuls’ – title given to those that have not yet been chosen as an SG but have submitted photosets. The community as a whole celebrates alternative beauty with the passionate objective to redefine what we see as beauty. Beginning in 2001, SG has been live for nearly 16 years now and is currently home to 3,017 Suicide Girls and over eight million photos featuring thousands and thousands of different women. The community and staff come together to choose the most unique, beautiful and badass women to receive the SG title which they will keep for life.

The most special thing about Suicide Girls is the attitude of its members – nothing like what you might see on the Facebook or Instagram page comments, the members are kind, welcoming and no abuse is tolerated – I’ve seen rude men responded to by one of the founders himself before being booted as a member. The website is made up of 51% female members, with most of it’s members being in the 18-25 category…which I’ve just realised I’m no longer in, yikes. They have six million page likes on Facebook and even more on Instagram, so they really are an online force to be reckoned with and over the past few years have come back to bringing that force to life on stage in the form of the Blackheart Burlesque.

I love working for Suicide Girls and I love what they do as a company both online and offline – it certainly isn’t for everybody but they do better than most to represent as many as possible. The imagery is natural and honest, much less retouching than you will be used to from magazines. I have never reshaped a single girls body and some photographers don’t even edit out things that aren’t permanent like bruises/spots. I’ve lightened my retouching process over the years which was a struggle after working in print when everything is edited obscene amounts but it’s refreshing that that’s changing.

The Suicide Girls are a bunch of amazing, beautiful women with loud, intelligent voices…Mothers, students, wives and business women. I’m proud to know so many.

Other posts in this series:

How Can I Become a Suicide Girl? Pros and Cons.

Photographers: Shooting for Suicide Girls in Five Steps

Models: Preparing For Your First Nude Photoshoot

Some useful links:

FAQs

Model Application

My SG Portfolio

My Personal Portfolio

Please enjoy this selection of SGs I’ve photographed and links to their profiles which you can view fully as a member:

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SG Flikrenee
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SG Nayru
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SG Vikki
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SG Eirenne
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SG Mel
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SG Scribbles
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SG Chad
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SG Vaughn
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SG Cadorna
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SG Raign
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SG DannikaDaisy
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SG AliceSey
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SG Sophoulla
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SG Nancyy
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SG JessicaLou
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SG Lucerne
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SG MissFernandez
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SG Foxilla
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SG Liryc
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SG Katherine
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14 thoughts on “What Is ‘Suicide Girls’?

  1. I’ve been a member for almost 3 years and I’ve never thought to ask about the Suicide bit in the name. Makes perfect sense now!
    I think you’ve summed it all up perfectly although you’ve made me feel a little on the old side haha!

    1. hahaha, oops! Yeah, I didn’t realise such a large amount of members were so young. The Suicide part never dawned on me either but my parents and grandparents have definitely questioned it :’) Thanks for reading!

  2. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing that I knew the names (or at least IG handles) of all but 3 of the girls you posted before scrolling past each picture. Love the site and all the girls. Keep up the good work.

  3. Awesome blog, Gemma! I wish that as a male member I could be more involved but, SG is by far, my favorite social media outlet. I post here there first because I don’t feel like I’ll get the same judgment and ridicule like I would in other places on the web. And I hate the misogyny I see in other places as well. Again, great post!

  4. And call me crazy but, seeing all of the SG and SGH being photographed by all of the talented photographers while nude, makes me want to get nude and be photographed. At least once. Probably won’t get posted anywhere but, I’d love to see what results from it 🙂

  5. I’ve been a member of SG for the last 2 years. It was actually one of your photos of Mel that introduced me to the site. Mel is still one of my favourite SGs and you’re definitely my favourite photographer (no, I’m not just saying that).
    The one thing that’s always confused me about the site is the decision making process on how a hopeful becomes a suicide girl. There are some absolutely stunning girls that have had 6 or 7 amazing sets as hopefuls but never turn pink yet some others post their first set and get a SoTD and become a Suicide Girl.
    I read somewhere on the site they get up to 3,000 applications a day to become a Suicide Girl yet only 3, 017 have made it in 16 years. I’m not asking for numbers but do they pay for hopeful sets? Do they pay a lot more for SG sets? Just interested.

    Keep up the good work Gemma.

    1. Hey! Thank you so much and, yes, Mel is fab! There’s no set standard to what will or won’t be chosen really, there’s a lot of factors – something I’ll write about in a future post! 🙂 a Set of the Day is a set that has been purchased by SG, the rest (hopefuls and SGs) are simply submissions to be considered for Set of the Day…hope that makes sense!

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