Kjerstin Gruys

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