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Jean Kilbourne

Media Educator

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As a media educator, Jean Kilbourne believes the biggest challenge for women today is to develop a healthy self-image, in a highly toxic media environment. 
Jean Kilbourne is a feminist author, and speaker, who focuses on the image of women in advertising. Best-known for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising campaigns, she is also credited for introducing the concept of media literacy as a way to prevent problems resulting from mass media advertising. Kilbourne is a graduate from Wellesley College, holds a doctorate in education from Boston University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Westfield State College. She is the author of So Sexy So Soon The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Potect their Kids (2008), and Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel (1999)  which won the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology.  Additionally, Kilbourne is a prolific filmmaker and documentarian. Her most recent documentary, Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women was released in 2010. 

More From Jean

The Cultural Environment
Kilbourne's work is partially inspired by her desire to protect her daughter from the toxic cultural environment promoted through U.S. media. 

A Parent's Guide
Kilbourne on her latest book So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids.

A Survivor's Strength
Kilbourne on where she finds her strength, and how she has learned to be resilient to life's challenges.

Look Fear in the Face
Kilbourne explains that sometimes to overcome fears, you have to face them head-on.

Double Standards
Jean Kilbourne on the impossible double standards faced by women in America.

Silencing Critics
Kilbourne discusses the way advertisers can reframe concerns in an effort to quash analysis and criticism.