Jennifer Paff Ogle
Dr. Jennifer Paff Ogle received her Ph.D. in 1999, focusing upon the social psychology of dress and appearance. Her primary research interests include the body in socio-cultural context and socially responsible alternatives in the textiles and apparel industry, particularly as related to issues of advertising and promotion. She teaches courses in the social psychology of appearance, historic costume, and research and theory.
As a member of the Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Business (ESRAB), Ogle’s scholarship reflects a commitment to seeking understanding about the ways in which socially responsible decision-making by textiles and apparel professionals can promote the celebration of diverse bodies and the development of positive body image among consumers. In support of this objective, she and colleagues recently collaborated on work funded by a USDA Challenge Grant and designed to develop and test undergraduate curriculum intended to foster a socially responsible “way of thinking” about the advertising and promotion of food, fiber, and related products. Ogle’s contribution to the project focused upon the creation and assessment of educational resources exploring the ways in which advertising and promotions contribute to cultural meanings about the body as well as to consumers’ body-related feelings and behaviors. Relatedly, she recently partnered with a colleague to develop and test undergraduate curriculum designed to engender empathy toward and deconstruct negative stereotypes about overweight and obese persons; such work has implications for the plus-size apparel industry and for the images used by retailers to promote their apparel products.
As a Faculty Affiliate of the Women’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program, she brings a feminist perspective to much of her research. Recent work in this stream has explored topics such as applications of feminist theory to understanding the “socially processed” female body and the role of interpersonal interactions in intensifying, undermining, or reconstituting the meanings of contemporary consumer culture discourses that promote female thinness and bodily control.