This week’s Real Women Doing Real Things (#RWDRT) is all about Ms. Allie Pohl, a Los Angeles-based conceptual artist whose work explores the social and cultural constructions of contemporary western society. What I love about Allie is that she questions the idea of “perfection,” which is what inspired her to create her “Ideal Woman” art series that digitally enhances Barbie to fit western society’s ideal female measurements of 36-24-36. What Allie is set to do is show the world (through her art) that those measurements mean nothing and every woman, and every body, is beautiful.
Tell us about the vision for Ideal Woman and your goal for your art/brand.
We 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 a false one. 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.
The Ideal Woman symbol is an agent of change, and a tool for contributing to female empowerment. The Ideal Woman smiles back at you, reminding you that she is an unnatural, unrealistic, oversimplified portrayal of “beauty.” It is a reminder that YOU ARE THE IDEAL WOMAN—perfectly imperfect!
In a dream world, the Ideal Woman avatar will be as recognizable as the peace symbol. I want women to feel strong, powerful and perfect just the way they are!
What do you do when you feel blocked creatively?
I go on a walk. I find walking and exploring helps clear my mind and cultivates my creativity.
What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you first started your business?
To research all of your options before jumping in! We want to check things off of our list and I get so excited to just START a project. Yet I continuously find that it is best to really explore ALL of the options first in order to truly make an educated decision.
What inspires you the most?
My peers! My work is about contemporary culture so going out meeting, seeing and hearing what people are doing and talking about inspires me the most.
What do you consider your biggest business success? And your biggest failure?
Lena Dunham organically getting and wearing the necklace when she drastically changed her appearance stating, “change is good,” was certainly a highlight!
My biggest mistake / failure is not really vetting the people I work with first. I jump into things head first and underestimating the importance of really following up and taking the time to fact-check before diving in.
If you could have dinner with three celebrities (dead or alive), who would it be with and why?
Simone de Beauvoir, Frida Kahlo, and Gloria Steinem. All of these women were/are revolutionary feminist thinkers and activists during different time periods. I think it would be such an exciting dinner to discuss how far we have come, the things we need to continue working on and the best way to approach them.
What’s the best comment or feedback you’ve ever received from a fan or customer?
I constantly get that the Ideal Woman pieces are such a conversation starter! This always excites me because when are people talk about it, they can bring their own ideas and interpretation to the piece.
A customer told me she bought the necklace for her friend because her friend is really shy, and she wanted people to come up and talk to her. I just loved that!
I hear that women feel powerful, stronger and confident while wearing their Ideal Woman.
Take us through your schedule. What did you do from waking up until bed time?
As soon as I wake up I take my dog, Maebe, to the bathroom. Then I get back in bed and pursue social media. I love my time in bed in the morning! Once I get out of bed for the day, I feed Maebe and start going through my emails. The mornings are the only real consistent part of my day. The rest of the day ranges from going to downtown Los Angeles to the jewelry district, conducting art project research, finding and reaching out to women to honor on IdealWoman.us CRUSH section, emailing stores, making art, etc.
At night, I go out to dinner with friends, art openings, lectures, catch up with my husband, and I love watching Bravo!