13 Bizarre Requirements For Female Flight Attendants In The 1950s

When we step onto a plane, we expect to find our seat, buckle up, and be greeted by a friendly face explainingthe emergency protocol before we take off.

However, when commercial airlines were first getting popular back in the 1950s, it wasn’t safety knowledge that was most important for acandidate hoping to become a flight attendant all that mattered was their looks and charm.

Or at least, that’s how it sounds when you take a look at even just a few of the strict guidelines women had to adhere to in order to get the high-flying gig. On top of physical restrictions, honing their personalities into being as cheerful, approachable, and accommodating as possible was clearly a huge necessity.

Obviously, having an upbeat, kind attendant makes for a much smoother ride for everyone, but you have to admit some of the requirements below went quite a bit too far.

Did we miss anything you remember about flight attendants from back in the day? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

[H/T: Flickr / alsis35, Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum]

1. “Soft And Feminine Hairstyle”


This is so vague that it could mean any number of styles, but the emphasis while being trained was usually on shorter options.

2. “Delicate And Flattering Makeup”


This went along with their request for women who were “just below Hollywood standards” pretty, but nottoo pretty.

3. “Hands Soft And Manicured”


There is no indication about the color they preferred, but something tells me it ranged from clear to anyshade “soft” enough to look natural.

4. “A Minimum Of Jewelry”


Women were able to splurge with a solitary strand of pearls or a necklace with a small charm, and maybe even a pair of tasteful stud earrings.

5. “Maximum Weight: 135 Pounds”


The ladies wereactually weighed before they could begin their next shift, something they thankfully didaway with decades ago.

6. “A Well-Fitted Girdle”


That’s right: On top of dieting and weigh-ins, theyalso had to cinch into a girdle to make sure no extra inches seeped into their uniform.

7. “Height Ranging From 5’2″ to 5’6″”


I wonder if this factored in heels. Regardless, today you’ll find attendants ranging well over six feet.

8. “Hem Lines Of A Becoming Length”


I think it’s safe to say that a “becoming” length could be translated as “modest.”

9. “Legs Smooth And Free Of Hair”


Obviously women today still shave their legs, but it’s considered optional and definitely not something a company caninclude as a requirement for employment.

10. “Feet Well Groomed And Shod”


Just seeing the word “shod” in ajob listing would have me second-guessing an application, especially becausethese shoes prioritized classiness over comfort.

11. “Voice Well Modulated”


Advising women not to shout or lose their temper with a guest is one thing, but asking them to possibly change their entire vocal tone is a bit of a stretch.

12. “A Light, Pleasing Fragrance”


OK, this is actually solid advice considering no one wants to smell overwhelming perfume in those cramped compartments. But like several of these other rules, it lacks quite a few details in describing what makes a fragrance “pleasing.”

13. “Marital Status: Single”


That doesn’t just meanremaining unattached and refusing any engagement offers, but also havingneverbeen married, divorced, separated, or widowed.

Did we miss any requirements you remember from flight attendants back in the day? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

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