Home > Home > Expanding the social barrier: Q&A with…

Expanding the social barrier: Q&A with Suicide Girls co-founder Missy Suicide

missy_suicide portrait

Online softcore gallery of punk, goth, and indie-style pin-up models, Suicide Girls (link NSFW) is a precursor to the social network of sorts. When the site launched, it was one of the first website of its kind to feature a go-to spot for people that shared common interests to communicate, meet up, and of course, ogle over uniquely beautiful girls. We sat down with Suicide Girls co-founder Missy Suicide to talk about new extensions of her website in the era of mobile apps and microblog platforms.

Digital Trends: What has the technological shift from a regular gallery website to multi-platform social network been like for Suicide Girls?

Missy Suicide: We started before Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook came about and we really wanted to create a place where friends can come together and meet one another. This was a pretty foreign concept in 2001. Now, social networks have caught on, and it’s an integral part of everyone’s lives, so we’ve expanded our presence on every social network. We have more than five million fans on Facebook, a Twitter, Instagram, and Vine community, and we really love the fact that the Internet brings people together.

Our network is a bit different in that everyone has an interest for the girls, but the barrier entry of $4 a month keeps people respectful. It keeps spammers out, and people from leaving asshat comments like they could on free social networks. We also have groups for people to come together and meet each other based on their common interests, be it animes or tattoos.

DT: We see that you’ve really taken to Vine since the service’s launch two months ago. Do you guys prefer being on Vine versus a photo-sharing network like Instagram?

Missy: Instagram is easier because you can take pics from a phone or people can send photos to you, which makes it a lot more curate-able. With Vine, things have to be so instant that it’s been a challenge. We try to do fun things like showing pics from a set and have you guess which girl it is. We’re still discovering what to do [with Vine], but the experience has been fun so far.

DT: Suicide Girls also recently launch a dating app last month. What makes Let’s Date different than other dating apps?

Missy: The dating app is so much fun, it’s so addictive. It brings a certain gamification to dating. The app just launched a new feature where, even if you aren’t look for a date yourself, you can play as a wingman. You can recommend girls to friends and hook things up. It’s also the only app where you can give it feedback by saying “No thanks” to some of the girls, cross off things you don’t like from their profiles, and it will learn to provide better results.

DT: Suicide Girls is having a SXSW party tomorrow, and you’re going to be casting new model hopefuls. What advice do you have for girls who are about to grace every bit of your social network presence?

Missy: Be confident and comfortable with who you are. You shouldn’t be afraid of being out there. A lot of the Suicide Girls are role models for women around the world. I get emails everyday from women saying they didn’t feel beautiful until they saw a pic of a Suicide Girl. The unconventional beauty and inspiration is something they don’t think about before they consider becoming our model. You have the ability to change lives by being role models people can look up to. I don’t know if that’s more pressure or less.

Photo: Jason Odell