Q&A with Ideal Woman’s Allie Pohl
We are excited to announce an exciting collaboration with Ideal Woman, a unique Los Angeles based jewelry brand that embraces female empowerment! They are generously donating half the proceeds of their limited edition Soheila necklace to The Unmentionables’ Community Educator program. Named after one of our first Community Educators, Soheila is a mother, an educator, and one of the millions of refugee women finding their voice. To get to know more about this symbol of change, Allie Pohl, artist and creator of Ideal Woman, answered a few of our questions.
A lot of your artwork is inspired by the commodification of femininity. Where did this interest in the female form come from?
I am a female, so as an artist, my perspective is developed from how I experience the world. Females are constantly inundated with images that define “feminine beauty.” Often times, these images are illusions created by technology, far removed from reality. Beauty trends and ideals swing like a pendulum, moving from one extreme to the other over time. At any given moment, we may find ourselves on the “right” or the “wrong” side of this swing. But this binary is false. Rather than striving to fit some idealized illusion, we should stop and consider who we are as individuals, and celebrate our imperfections. We are not cookie cutter forms.
What inspired the creation of Ideal Woman?
I have always been particularly interested in hair and hair removal. Why do we add it to some parts of our body and remove it from others? As a way to explore this cultural phenomenon, I took a my size Barbie and dissected her into sections where "unwanted" hair grows. When I saw the shape of the midsection, I fell in love with it visually and thought what does that really represent.
What does the Ideal Woman symbol stand for?
The symbol represents female empowerment. Ideal Woman is the bottom half of Barbie, scaled up to "Western" society's ideal measurements of 24-36-24. Her "thigh gap" smiles back at you, reminding you that she is an unnatural, unrealistic, oversimplified portrayal of “beauty.”
Your pendants have had a huge success, with celebrities like Lena Dunham wearing your necklace. What do you think people identify with most?
I think EVERYONE feels, or at the very least can relate to, the pressure to fit into some idealized norm. We live in a society where it is almost impossible not to!
How would you define the "ideal woman"?
Every identifying woman who supports her sisters and strives for equality is the ideal woman.
How did you get involved with The Unmentionables?
I met Garvey Chui, who is the President of the Board of Directors for The Unmentionables, on a trip to Israel through the Reality program. Garvey asked if I would do a collaboration with The Unmentionables, and I did not hesitate to say yes!
Half of the proceeds from the Soheila necklace will be going to The Unmentionables’ Community Educator program. Why did you decide to support this program?
Education is empowerment. The Community Educator program not only teaches refugee and migrant woman about menstrual health, contraceptives, and gender based violence, but also empowers them to teach to women in their communities. This program helps provide tools for women to feel more knowledgeable, comfortable, and confident with their own bodies, which is something I wholeheartedly stand behind.
Share the limited edition Soheila necklace with the ideal women in your life by purchasing it below.