Every once in a while a beauty influencer or brand comes along that’s so extraordinary in their efforts to give back, attention must be paid. Each Feel Good Friday, we’ll highlight these do-gooders along with simple ways to support their efforts.
Allie Pohl isn’t your typical jewelry designer.
Sure each expertly crafted necklace or bracelet she creates makes for a beautiful statement piece, but the real story is the message behind each accessory.
As a conceptual artist, Pohl was fascinated by the beauty standards that society – and specifically media – put on young women through digitally altered images. She became frustrated with these false and unattainable ideals and started a counter movement using the ideal woman (IW) symbol found in her jewelry line. She describes the icon as an agent of change, a tool for contributing to female empowerment and a symbol of anti-perfection. In response, women have been unwavering in their support of the message, including celebrities like Lena Dunham who recently sported an IW necklace.
Itching to expand the symbol’s reach, Pohl next created a silk screen image containing seven lipsticks each made out of the ideal woman symbol (see image at right). “It’s 2016 and we can wear as much or as little make up as we like,” she says of common societal pressures that the print is symbolizing.
The self-proclaimed flee market regular also pays it forward to a cause that parallels her own mission by donating 50 percent of the proceeds from sales of the Lucite florescent pink Ideal Woman necklace to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund #powerofpink. “Its important to have a place where women can go that’s safe, not judgmental, and affordable,” she says.
Want to support the cause while also expanding your own arm party? Pohl has graciously offered Random Acts of Lipstick readers 10 percent off everything in the store until June 17th. Just use code LIPSTICK at checkout.
Read our interview with Pohl below!
Alexis Farah: What inspired you to create the ideal woman symbol and share it through art and jewelry?
Allie Pohl: I have always been interested in why we follow certain cultural trends. For example, the concept of body hair and hair removal: we remove hair from certain parts of our body and add it to others. As a way to respond to this cultural phenomenon, I created a series of sculptures using a “My Size Barbie” (the doll), as a metaphor for the “ideal woman,” and I had Chia grow out of areas where our society removes unwanted hair—the armpit, vagina, and legs. The sculptures transformed from prepubescent to womanhood during the time of the installation. I was captivated by the shape of the midsection and started to explore different ways to appropriate the shape and what it really represented.
I created the jewelry line as a way to keep the conversation going outside of galleries and museums. I thought it was important to have something accessible to everyone that could bring the ideas into pop culture.
AF: What is the most powerful response and/or feedback you’ve received on the line?
AP: When I first started making the jewelry, I did not have an online store but I would receive email orders. One woman emailed me that she was ordering a necklace for her friend because her friend was very shy and she wanted people to come up and talk to her! I thought that was so sweet and it’s true . . . the necklaces are certainly conversation starters. I’ve also had a man tell me that it’s the ideal woman because she doesn’t have a head.
AF: You said you’ve been partnering a lot with Planned Parenthood LA, what does that entail and why Planned Parenthood?
AP: I think Planned Parenthood is an extremely important organization. Women should have every right in regards to their own body. We should be able to choose if and when we want to go on birth control, whether we want to have a child or not, when we want to get checked for STDS, etc. Its important to have a place where women can go that’s safe, not judgmental, and affordable.
I recently participated in Planned Parenthoods Food Fair event selling Ideal Woman necklaces and donating to PP LA. Currently I am donating 50% of the proceeds for the Lucite florescent pink Ideal Woman necklace to support Planned Parenthood Action Fund #powerofpink #pinkoutthevote.
AF: What sparked the idea for a lipstick print made up of the ideal woman?
AP: Girls and women are constantly told how they should look, what they should wear, what is appropriate and what is not. It’s 2016 and we can wear as much or as little make up as we like. We can choose to cover or to show our bodies. You can choose what and who you want to be!
AF: How can our readers support your efforts and get involved?
AP: First and foremost by reminding themselves and their girlfriends that they are THE IDEAL WOMAN, perfectly imperfect.
A lot of what we define as beautiful is naturally unobtainable. Join the movement and keep that conversation going. Wear a necklaces, put up stickers, participate in the IWC posts, hashtag #idealwoman on all your girl crushes!
If there is a woman in your life doing amazing things, please reach out to me so I can feature them as an Ideal Woman crush! firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t forget to head to the Ideal Woman shop for 10 percent off everything in the store until June 17th. Just use code LIPSTICK at checkout.