2017 Keynote Address


The Naked Truth: Advertising’s Image of Women

Jean Kilbourne

Advertising is an over $250 billion a year industry.

We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. The ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. Sometimes they sell addictions.

Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., internationally acclaimed media critic, author, and filmmaker, is known for her ability to present provocative topics in a way that unites rather than divides and that encourages dialogue. With expert knowledge, insight, humor, and commitment, she moves and empowers people to take action in their own and in society’s interest.

The award-winning films Killing Us Softly, Spin the Bottle, and Slim Hopes are based on her lectures. She has twice received the Lecturer of the Year award from the National Association for Campus Activities and was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular lecturers on college campuses. She is the author of 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.

April 6, 2017
1:30 pm – 3 pm
Vanstone Lecture Hall
St. Jerome’s University
Waterloo, ON

Lecture Summary

“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.” – Susan Faludi, author of Backlash

“Out of the banal and commonplace ads we absorb each day without believing ourselves influenced, Jean Kilbourne creates a politically sophisticated and frightening tapestry. Her presentation is fascinating, fast paced and extremely funny.” – Marge Piercy

“Jean Kilbourne’s arguments are as focused and unassailable as those of a good prosecutor. Piece by piece she builds a case for an America deeply corrupted by advertisers.” — Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia