Meet Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D.

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Meet Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D.

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I'm Jean Kilbourne, I've been studying the impact of advertising on the culture for many decades. I was the first person to look at the image of women in advertising and I've done a lot of work on that, I've made a film called Killing Us Softly - advertising's image of women, which I first made in 1979 and I've remade it three times since then. I've also studied alcohol and tobacco advertising, I have a book called Can't Buy My Love - how advertising changes the way we think and feel, and another book called So Sexy So Soon - the new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids. I'm a mother, I have a daughter who's 26 and who's doing wonderful work in the field of domestic violence and the field of trafficking. In my free time, I love to travel, I love to read, love to hang out with my friends and I love my dog and we take long walks every day around a very beautiful reservoir, and I love doing that.
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Jean Kilbourne, EdD

Author & Social Theorist

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. She was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses...

She is the author of the award-winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. The prize-winning films based on her lectures include Killing Us Softly, Spin the Bottle, and Slim Hopes. She is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, including “The Today Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She has served as an advisor to the Surgeon General and has testified for the U.S. Congress. She holds an honorary position as Senior Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

According to Susan Faludi, “Jean Kilbourne’s work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American culture —advertising. We owe her a great debt.” A member of the Italian Parliament said, “Hearing Jean Kilbourne is a profound experience. Audiences leave her feeling that they have heard much more than another lecture, for she teaches them to see themselves and their world differently.”

She has received many awards, including the Lecturer of the Year award from the National Association for Campus Activities. A more unusual tribute was paid when an all-female rock group in Canada named itself Kilbourne in her honor.

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