Cabin crew are often seen looking smart and put-together. While they have a number of staff rules to obey, the regulations are far more relaxed than they once were. In the sixties and seventies, there were very rigid guidelines about flight attendants’ appearances.
A New York Times classified ad for stewardesses at Eastern Airlines listed the requirements in 1966.
It stated: “A high school graduate, single (widows and divorcees with no children considered), 20 years of age (girls 19 1/2 may apply for future consideration).
“5’2” but no more than 5’9″, weight 105 to 135 in proportion to height.”
Their weight was closely monitored with regular pre-flight “weigh-ins” taking place.
Former flight attendant Patricia Ireland who began flying for airline Pan Am in her younger years spoke to Vanity Fair about her time in the industry
She said at the time cabin crew were forced to wear girdles in order to sculpt their body into the ideal shape for the uniform.
This was the case even for the slimmer cabin crew.
One flight attendant told Vanity Fair, “At eye level, walking up and down the aisle, they wanted everybody to look smooth.”
There was one rather shocking move the crew were subjected to when it came to their physique.