Kjerstin Gruys, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Kjerstin Gruys


Kjerstin Gruys is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno and author of Mirror, Mirror, OFF the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body By Not Looking at It for a Year (Avery, 2013).

Gruys's research broadly explores the relationship between physical appearance and social inequality, with a particular focus on gender as it intersects with race/ethnicity, class, sexuality and age. She has specific expertise in: (1) labor market inequality and "aesthetic labor," (2) intersections between bodies/embodiment and cultural markets, and (3) how news reporting on obesity and eating disorders shapes prejudice and health behaviors. Her research - empirically grounded through ethnography, in-depth interviews, content analysis and the occasional experiment - has been published in Social Problems and Social Science & Medicine, among others. Prior to earning her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2014, Gruys worked as a merchandiser in the corporate offices of two multi-national fashion firms. She is currently developing a book manuscript, tentatively titled: True to Size?: A Social History of Clothing Size Standards in the U.S. Fashion Industry.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Sociology, UCLA, 2014
  • M.A., Sociology, UCLA, 2008
  • A.B., Sociology, Princeton University 2004
  • Certificate in the Study of Women & Gender, Princeton University, 2004