Kendall and the Astronaut.
On February 23rd, 2021, side by side photos began to circle the Instagram space. Kendall Jenner on the left in a bikini and Alyssa Carson, the youngest person in history to overcome all NASA’s aerospace tests at 19 years old.
This photo currently (6 days later) with 989,037 likes and hundreds of comments has been reposted countless times. I have seen it come up about 15 x this past week.
The WorthFeed captioned the photo with this message:
“A few days ago,a photograph of American model Kendall Jenner in a swimsuit went viral,
showing what for many is the perfect body in a woman. On the right, a photograph of Alyssa Carson, the 19-year-old astronaut who became the youngest person in history to overcome all NASA’s aerospace tests.
You can probably work which of the two is most well known and globally admired, yet this situation shows us the disproportionate value that society gives to exaggerated beauty stereotypes. While many women struggle every day to belong in historically male-dominated positions and trades, society continues to reward vanity and beauty over real skills and intellect.
I’m the first person to appreciate the female form but if we, are to place this asthenic above incredibly talented, dedicated and skilled individuals like Alyssa Carson
I feel It would not only be ignorant but extremely detrimental to the evaluation and progress of the human race.” – WorthFeed
The comments of this comparison range from someone saying that they prefer Carsons body type over Jenners, that we should boost all women up, that Carson should be the ideal role model for girls etc. All making assumptions about both females and what we should be doing.
The reality is that I follow 735 Instagram accounts. Of people I follow, I saw nearly 15 people post the WorthFeed photo in their stories. Yet, 77 of my followers also follow Kendall Jenner (I do not) and 4 follow Alyssa Carson (I do now).
I have a problem with the fact that people are posting this photo, giving attention to the known notion that society loves a thin, white, naked woman, and pitting it against another successful female. I see the power in posting the two photos with the background caption to highlight that we are obsessed with aesthetics. However, I have yet to see anyone post a photo of Alyssa Carson, giving her credit for being a talented and inspiring young person, without being intertwined with Jenner. The reposting of this photo just shows me that we point fingers, but do not act to see change. If there is a problem with Alyssa Carson not receiving the admiration and social applaud that she deserves, then lets post her, and show the world this fantastic human!
The original post is not wrong with highlighting our obsession with a normative attractive body versus other people and topics that should be equally attention grabbing. But, with each repost this whole message lost affect as I just kept seeing a comparison of two females who have nothing to do with each other. They are both successful in their own light, but were subjected to judgement and criticism by the crowd sitting at their phones believing they know best.
But who am I to say… here I am, posting that same side by side photo giving my opinion.