Ashley Mears
Get Ashley Mears essential facts below. View Videos or join the Ashley Mears discussion. Add Ashley Mears to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Ashley Mears
Ashley Mears
TitleAssociate Professor of Sociology
Academic background
EducationUniversity of Georgia
Alma materNew York University
ThesisPricing Beauty: The Production of Value in Fashion Modeling Markets (2009)
Academic work
DisciplineSociology
InstitutionsBoston University
Main interestsCulture, markets, work
Notable worksPricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model
Websitewww.bu.edu/sociology/faculty-staff/faculty/ashley-mears/

Ashley Mears is an American writer, sociologist, and former fashion model. She is currently an associate professor of sociology at Boston University. Mears is the author of Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model, and is regularly quoted in media as an academic expert in the culture and economics of fashion.

Early life and education

Mears grew up near Atlanta, Georgia.[1] To supplement her regular job at a movie theater, she entered a modeling contest, won agency representation, and then started modeling part-time at the age of 16.[1][2] Mears attended the University of Georgia but continued her modeling work by spending summers working overseas.[3] After completing her undergraduate education, she spent a year modeling in Asia, then moved to New York City at the age of 23 to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology.[1] In New York she was again scouted for modeling jobs, and decided to focus her graduate research on the culture and economics of the modeling industry.[4] She lied about her age to get modeling jobs, then conducted a covert ethnographic study by taking notes and interviewing fellow models, scouts, and agents while working as a model in New York and London, including multiple appearances on the runway at New York Fashion Week.[2][5] She earned her Ph.D. from New York University in 2009.[6][7]

Career

After receiving her Ph.D. Mears became an assistant professor of sociology at Boston University.[8]

In 2011 her book Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model was published by the University of California Press. Sociologist Heather Laine Talley, writing in the American Journal of Sociology, noted that while Pricing Beauty is about "how fashion insiders create aesthetic value," it also examines "the organization of markets, the process of cultural production, and reproduction of inequalities."[9] Mears found that most fashion models operate against their short-term economic interests by accepting low-paying jobs that they hope will lead to greater recognition and higher-prestige jobs, but that very few models ever successfully attain such recognition, with the rest gradually aging out of the industry, sometimes while in debt to their modeling agencies, or switching to more lucrative but less prestigious commercial modeling.[10]

Pricing Beauty identifies the industry's idiosyncratic beauty standards as a major obstacle to success for models, not only in preferring "size-zero" body types, but in preferring white women above other women even within the "size-zero" category.[11] Like other "ethnic" models, Mears was specifically advised not to mention her Korean heritage at castings.[12] Mears concluded that industry insiders were not simply reflecting social preferences, but were actively producing beauty images designed to reproduce what sociologist Laura Grindstaff, in her review for Gender & Society, called "the gendered and racialized value hierarchies attached to beauty."[13] A review in The Chronicle of Higher Education criticized this conclusion, suggesting that "Mears's attempts to make the numbers support her critique of the fashion industry for its whiteness reveal more about her wish to expose it than anything else."[14]Publishers Weekly noted that Pricing Beauty was "probably too complex for the average reader" but praised the book as "a well-researched, well-written, and thorough study of the industry."[15]

Mears has also written for The New York Times about her research after Pricing Beauty, including her covert ethnographic research on women recruited by promoters to attend VIP parties and nightlife events.[16] In addition to her own publications, Mears is regularly cited by print and web media on issues in culture, markets, and work, such as why many models come from one region of the United States,[17] how celebrity scandals affect the reputation of popular hotels and nightspots,[18] whether fashion modeling is indentured servitude,[19] whether "sexbots" will replace spouses,[20] and the emotional labor of women in the workplace.[21]

Bibliography

  • Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model (University of California Press, 2011) ISBN 9780520270763

References

  1. ^ a b c Giacobbe, Alyssa (January 15, 2012). "A former model delves into the industry". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b Heyman, Stephen (September 21, 2011). "A Model Professor". T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Lamb, Christina (December 4, 2011). "Model Student". The Times. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Vallas, Steven (May 30, 2016). "Conversations: Ashley Mears Talks about the Ethnography of Desire". Work in Progress. American Sociological Association Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work. Archived from the original on September 4, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Mears, Ashley (September 28, 2011). "The Life Of A Fashion Model: Grueling, Not Glitzy". Talk of the Nation (Interview). Interviewed by Neal Conan. National Public Radio. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Krueger, Alyson (2012). "Models of the World, Unite!". NYU Alumni Magazine. No. 19. Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Mears, Ashley (2009). Pricing Beauty: The Production of Value in Fashion Modeling Markets (Ph.D.). New York University. OCLC 865546083.
  8. ^ "Ashley Mears". BU Sociology. Boston University. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ Talley, Heather Laine (2012). "Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model. By Ashley Mears". American Journal of Sociology. 117 (6): 1853-1855. doi:10.1086/664830.
  10. ^ Copeland, Libby (September 7, 2011). "America's Next Top Sociologist". Slate. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Schama, Chloë (September 18, 2011). "The Skin Trade". The New Republic. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ Causey, Adera (November 20, 2011). "Fashion industry gets an insider's look in 'Pricing Beauty'". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Grindstaff, Laura (March 20, 2013). "Book Review: Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model". Gender & Society. 27 (2): 260-262. doi:10.1177/0891243212461302.
  14. ^ Shteir, Rachel (December 11, 2011). "Taking Beauty's Measure". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on September 4, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model". Publishers Weekly. October 3, 2011. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Mears, Ashley (September 20, 2014). "Who Runs the Girls?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Khazan, Olga (August 13, 2015). "The Midwest, Home of the Supermodel". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ Sneed, Tierney (May 13, 2014). "A Mixed Bag of Publicity for NYC's Standard Hotel After Elevator Spat". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Hackman, Rose (February 19, 2015). "Model life: to call it indentured servitude is no exaggeration". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ Rossman, Gabriel (August 16, 2018). "Of Wives and Widgets". National Review. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ Bennett-Smith, Meredith (April 18, 2017). "The case for being grumpy at work". Quartz. Archived from the original on September 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Ashley_Mears
 



 



 
Music Scenes