Kendall Jenner Photo Comparison Should Encourage All Girls to Pursue Their Dreams, Alyssa Carson Says (Exclusive)

The viral photo comparing Kendall Jenner to 20-year-old aspiring astronaut Alyssa Carson sparked controversy when social media users slammed society for celebrating the bikini-clad Jenner over someone like Carson. But Carson said all girls should be encouraged and supported to pursue their dreams, regardless of their aspirations.

Alyssa Carson views the Kendall Jenner comparison as a great way to get the discussion started

Carson admitted the comparison to the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star took her by surprise. “Yeah, that was definitely so interesting,” she recently told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “I have no idea where it came from or where it started. It was so weird. It all of a sudden started popping up on my Instagram. But yeah, I mean, I think the importance is that we are encouraging girls to go into whatever their dreams may be.”

Carson viewed the image as a conversation starter for all young women. But others saw it as a negative commentary on society. “Saw this post on Facebook – #getbetterrolemodels important for young women,” a person tweeted. “LEFT: American model Kendall Jenner in a swimsuit -went viral. RIGHT: Alyssa Carson, 19-year-old astronaut who became the youngest person in history to pass all NASA aerospace tests – nobody knows her.”

Carson is an international TEDx speaker and published author. In October of 2016, she was the youngest to be accepted and graduate from the Advanced Possum Academy. This certified Carson to be an astronaut trainee and someday go to space.

Astronaut Alyssa Carson wearing a blue flight suit and standing in front of a plane
Alyssa Carson stands in front of an airplane | Photo courtesy of Frito-Lay

Carson said she’s completely in favor of finding any vehicle to get a discussion about STEM for girls started. “You know, when I speak to girls, I, of course, always like to slide in the plug about space and STEM jobs just because that’s my area of expertise,” she said.

Alyssa Carson says STEM jobs are limitless and girls can make their own reality

Carson said all young women should be supported in their career pursuits. “I think it’s really important that girls realize that they can truly go into anything that they want to do,” she said. “And that’s really kind of any realm, any kind of job. And I love being able to teach that because there are even space and STEM jobs that maybe we don’t even know about. Maybe you can model in space, you know, mix all of them. And so I think that it’s really cool to kind of encourage younger girls. And be there for them to really realize whatever their dreams may be, they can really make it into their own reality.”

She emphasized that STEM jobs also mean getting creative and are designed for those who can think outside the box. “I have so much fun really talking to kids and having them realize what is actually possible,” she said. “And I think, you know, coming up and more recently, there’s been a lot happening in terms of getting girls involved in STEM and space.”

Alyssa Carson parnterned with Frito-Lay for a special back-to-school offer

Carson partnered with Frito-Lay to promote STEM for girls and launch the Back to School Blast Off campaign and Space For Her Scholarship Fund. “That’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m really excited about the whole Frito-Lay back-to-school program and their Space for Her Scholarship,” she said. “Because it gets more of the general public talking about girls in STEM. Let’s say you’re walking through a store and you see the variety pack that has kind of designs on it. It may spark a little conversation.”


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“And so it’s really cool to see bigger brands like Frito-Lay really talking about it,” she continued. “Because, like I said, all that kind of trickles down to these younger girls and kind of makes it seems more realistic for them. You know, I think that it’s so true that space and science seem very intimidating and daunting and not possible. Whereas these girls really do have the opportunity to make it into whatever they want it to be. And so it’s really cool to see how in this time it’s really progressing to where it’s becoming more of a normal conversation to take on these jobs that seem pretty daunting.”