Kjerstin Gruys headshot

Kjerstin Gruys

Adjunct Professor

Part-Time Faculty


Dr. Kjerstin Gruys is a sociologist, feminist scholar, body justice activist, 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). Kjerstin is frequently quoted by USA Today, TIME, and New York Times, among others, as an expert on gender inequality and contemporary women’s issues. Her academic research broadly explores the relationship between physical appearance and social inequality, with a particular focus on gender as it intersects with body size, race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, and age. 

Kjerstin's research has been published in the journals Social Problems, Gender & Society, Sex Roles, Sociological Forum, and Social Science & Medicine, among others. She is active in leadership roles such as within the American Sociological Association, currently serving as the Chair of the Body & Embodiment Section and as the Secretary+Treasurer of the Sex & Gender Section. Kjerstin is also the incoming Chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS).

Research Areas

  • Gender
  • Bodies & embodiment
  • Culture
  • Work
  • Qualitative methods


  • Chair, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS)
  • Incoming, Current, and Out-Going Chair, Bodies & Embodiment Section of the American Sociological Association 
  • Secretary Treasurer, Sex & Gender Section of the American Sociological Association


  • UCLA, PhD in Sociology, 2014
  • UCLA, MA in Sociology, 2008
  • Princeton University, AB in Sociology, 2004
  • Princeton University, Certificate in the Study of Women & Gender, 2004

Prior Experience

  • Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Nevada Reno 
  • Thinking Matters Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University 
  • Adjunct Instructor, Sonoma State University 
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow, UCLA

Selected Publications

  • 2021 Gruys, Kjerstin. “Fit Models, Not Fat Models: Body Inclusiveness in the U.S. Fit Modeling Job Market.” Fat Studies.
  • 2020 Gruys, Kjerstin and Christin Munsch. “‘Not Your Average Nerd’: Masculinities, Privilege, and Academic Effort at an Elite University” Sociological Forum. 35(2): 346-369.
  • 2019 Gruys, Kjerstin. “‘Making Over’ Poor Women: Gender, Race, Class, & Body Size in a Welfare-to-Work Nonprofit Organization.” Sociological Forum. 34(1): 47-70.
  • 2019 Gruys, Kjerstin and David Hutson. “The Aesthetic Labor of Ethnographers.” In Natalie Boero & Katherine Mason (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Body and Embodiment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • 2018 Munsch, Christin and Kjerstin Gruys. “What Threatens, Defines: Tracing the Symbolic Boundaries of Masculinity.” Sex Roles. 79(7-8): 375-392.
  • 2018 Bishop, Katelynn, Kjerstin Gruys, and Maddie Evans. “Sized Out: Women, Clothing Size, and Inequality.” Gender & Society. 32(2): 180-203.