Last week, the news that Virgin Atlantic had told female cabin crew they will no longer have to wear makeup in the air, was rather swamped by the Ethiopian B737 airline crash, but it stands out as an interesting concept, considering the airline’s previous press material and what may now be considered inappropriate advertising campaigns from 30 years ago when pretty and iconic air hostesses were used to sell tickets on the airline.
In an industry where female crew are often expected to spend considerable effort on their appearance, to look attractive, this is an unusual step. Creating this look is a mission that is made even more difficult for flight attendants because these staff are not paid an awful lot for their efforts.
You may not know that many international airlines specifically prescribe what makeup must be bought and worn. It is shocking that if these demands are made on their staff, that this makeup is not provided for by the respective airline.
Virgin’s cabin crew are not allowed to work without makeup, but are now welcome to follow a new toned-down palette of lipstick and foundation set out in its’ guidelines. The airline has also decided to provide their female crew with trousers as part of their standard uniform. This should all make the look more comfortable for airline staff as they are no longer obliged to dress-to-impress to quite such an extent.
British Airways, by comparison, requires their female crew to wear makeup and in 2016 allowed their air hostesses to wear trousers.
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