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An Immodest Proposal

According to bus-stop benches a couple months back, alt-pinups the Suicide Girls have a documentary DVD out; they will also be presenting their live burlesque show this week. So I recently checked out the SG Web site for the first time in about three years, to see if they were still representing “empowered” porn and all that jazz. Oh yeah, they’re fully empowered. They’re so empowered it hurts. In fact, stripping for peanuts while SG’s owners rake in the cash (just Google “suicide girls” and “exploitation” for details) is apparently so empowering to young women, it got me thinking. There must be a way to share this empowerment. Spread the sisterhood. Build the movement. Think about it, people. Through the brave iconoclasm of Internet porn, Suicide Girls has obviously discovered an important new key to female self-determination, individuality and the diversification of beauty standards. Doesn’t every girl deserve liberation through Web site branding of her sexuality? Couldn’t every young woman benefit from becoming a one-word name on an endless menu of fantasy girlfriends for chronic masturbators? Doesn’t every girl deserve the chance to express her true individuality by dressing goth? It occurred to me: Using the lessons they’ve learned from porno empowerment, perhaps the SGs could start a big-sister program in local middle schools, to catch young girls at that dangerous age when their self-esteem begins to plummet. Who would better understand what tweeners go through than other outsider-girls who’ve been there? Think of it: Instead of feeling alone and misunderstood, young girls could use their creativity to take naked photos of themselves. They could also learn how to strip, and to dance naked with tape on their boobs, and to pour beer on their boobs, just like the real SGs do. That kind of experience, or just knowing that such a possibility exists, could do wonders for their body image at a crucial time.Consider, especially, the purpose such mentoring could serve in the inner city, where our kids are exposed to drugs, crime and police brutality — and where schools are so drastically underfunded. We’ve all seen the studies about rising violence and gang activity among teenage girls. Learning computer literacy and writing skills through blogs, and expressing themselves through nudity on the Internet, could provide a real lifeline to our most at-risk youth. The Suicide Girls could come up with an attractive name for the program, too — say, the “Lil’ SGs.”Frankly, I think other empowered women owe it to Suicide Girls to join the cause. This movement, and the radically alternative community it’s building, and the ways SG is tearing down barriers and stereotypes for women worldwide, are too important not to support. (In fact, I am ashamed to say that more male celebrities than female have already helped out the cause as photographers and collaborators, including Dave Navarro, GWAR, Dave Grohl, some emo guy and several other highly relevant rock stars.) Why haven’t strong, sexy alt-girls like Brodie Dalle, M.I.A., Sleater-Kinney, Karen O., Kathleen Hannah, Gwen Stefani, Björk, Meg White, The Donnas (the thin ones, anyway), Dita Von Teese, Fiona Apple, Pink, PJ Harvey, Sharon Foo, Tori Amos and Allison Mosshart of the Kills given back? Where’s their sense of sisterhood? Come on ladies, take it off. For the kids. For the future. Just imagine if we had had SG decades ago. I mean, the female bonding, self-esteem and identity-building they offer could have done wonders for original “suicide girls” like Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath. Think of the good such a body-positive environment could have done for Karen Carpenter. And consider how poor Wendy O. Williams might have flourished in a porn ring. Talk about your OG SG.


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