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The juxtaposition of Kendall Jenner and Alyssa Carson’s photos caused a stir on the web. What is going on?

Kendall Jenner needs no introduction. However, Alyssa Carson deserves equally great recognition – she is a 19-year-old astronaut who is the youngest person in history to successfully pass all NASA aviation tests. What do they have in common and why has the network been boiling over?

Kendall Jenner and Allysa Carson

It started with the famous photo Kendall Jennerwhich a few days ago became a hit. The American model published a photo on her Instagram account in which she poses in a bathing suit. Undoubtedly, the characteristic cut of the costume and the shimmering body of an influencer fit the mainstream concept of what is considered sexy, the ideal of a female body, which many women strive for at all costs. We feel an internal pressure to look alike. But of course, for many reasons, this ideal is unattainable. However, it is difficult for us to go over the agenda, because despite the increasing body-positive movement, which exposes the mechanisms behind the ideals of beauty, we mostly grew up in a world saturated with the culture of diets, training leading not so much to better condition and well-being from childhood. about a specific body appearance, advertisements for clothes and cosmetics that will help us deal with our often alleged imperfections. And if we assume that we have some imperfections, do they necessarily have to be corrected ?! Anyway, returning to Kendall – on the one hand, it can be accused of promoting unrealistic ideals. On the other hand, she has the right to create her image exactly as she wants – her life, her body. Another question is why such looks, outfits, poses choose what is behind it. Whether her own preferences or internalized socio-cultural patterns, according to which the most important value in women is appearance, specific appearance, being sexy, pleasing to the male eye, etc.

The photo of the celebrity shortly after publication was juxtaposed with the photo of the American astronaut Alyssy Carson, 19, getting ready to fly to Mars in 2033. The collage appeared on WorthFeed’s Instagram account with extensive commentary highlighting the gap between Kendall Jenner’s immense popularity (153 million followers) and Alyssa’s recognition (465,000 followers). The main point of the post was that our society still places a disproportionate value on appearance over other achievements when it comes to women. This disproportion is one of the reasons why women still have a hard time breaking through in various fields so far dominated by men, for example in politics or science. Our skills tend to be second-best, they are totally underappreciated. Whatever we do, we are usually first and foremost judged by our beauty. So the post rightly draws attention to an important problem and it is not surprising that it was avalanchely promoted.

Nevertheless, the material also aroused controversy. Because at first glance, we are dealing with a comparison of two women. And although the intentions were good and the goal was right – exposing harmful social mechanisms, many people pointed out that it looks like putting beauty in front of intelligence, puffing one woman on another. In fact, it is worth being careful with this type of juxtaposition, because what we primarily need is to learn not to compare and try to be anything other than what you are. We need sisterhood, unconditional solidarity beyond divisions. And most of all, we need to unlearn thoughtless, almost automatic evaluation – of others and ourselves. Here, too, I am reminded of the popular meme “In a world full of Kardashianki be like Maria Skłodowska-Curie”. Again, this is a similarly bad way to visualize the problem that exists. Instead of making these types of comparisons, it is worth considering how effective it is fight against gender stereotypes. Because we are in the 21st century and they are still doing well. Consider why beauty still seems the most important to us. It is also appropriate to finally try to bring up boys and girls in the same way, because their interests are not shaped by their gender, but by how, as a society, we perceive gender roles, which in effect constrains us and limits us in relation to our individual preferences. We definitely need change, because it takes too much time and energy for us women to worry about appearance complexes and piercing glass ceilings. Guys are also basically restricted by stereotypes. Women try to be feminine enough, men try to be as masculine as possible. And these are just imposed patterns. We invented them ourselves, so we can change them as much as possible. High time.


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