Too slick for the Suicide Girls?

|
(0)

By Molly Freedenberg

Speaking (still) of Suicide Girls, those lovely ladies of alt erotica have published a new book (Suicide Girls: Beauty Redefined, 2008). This one's big and glossy and pretty, with full page photos of select girls organized by location.

164_3-3.jpg

I can't deny that it's attractive coffee table material for the yuppie punk. Intro pages look very art-booky with their big, bold type; and the nudie photos are uncomplicated with text or information (other than the model's Suicide Girls moniker). It's certainly more sleek and sophisticated than the first book (SuicideGirls, 2004).

But that's why I like the first book better.

In the version with the grey cover (and photo of old school favorite Mary Suicide in the classic SG logo pose), photos were matched with excerpts from models' candid online journals - an important part of what makes Suicide Girls such an appealing social network as well as erotica site. Plus, the playful and slightly D.I.Y. feel of the book had the same aesthetic as the Web site itself.

suicidebook02092a.jpg

The new book takes itself a bit too seriously, including the assertion that Suicide Girls is "redefining beauty." (Google Suicide Girls and you'll find a mountain of online debate about whether SGs are revolutionary alt-beauty icons or simply cheerleaders with a make-over at Hot Topic, including all kinds of other juicy controversy that may or may not be true.) Finding a new way to market nudity? Sure. Having a great time while you're doing it? Totally. Brilliantly cornering an underserved community of consumers? Shit yes. But I stop short of admitting that getting barely-legal girls to disrobe on the internet is changing the world ... oh never mind. I've already weighed in on that debate.)

Back to the book - it does look professional. The publishers did a great job. I just preferred the version that more accurately matched the funky style of the culture SG supports -- and wasn't such an obvious way of milking more money out of existing photo sets (for which the models and photogs are paid only once). Why not make a book that actually gives more insight into the models or the company, with new material and new ways of organizing it? That's a book I'd actually buy (rather than review for free).

That said, I am taking the book home. At the very least, it'll redefine the beauty of my coffee table.

Suicide Girls: Beauty Redefined
By Missy Suicide
AMMO Books
www.suicidegirls.com

Also from this author

  • Music mitzvah

    Jewish Music Festival turns 25 with a crosscultural lineup

  • Our weekly picks

  • Stage listings