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jlelandg's avatar

Why aren't American air hostesses hot anymore?

Asked by jlelandg (3506 points ) March 4th, 2011

Obviously Hooters airlines probably doesn’t apply. I’m wondering what exactly changed the American airline company hostess stereotype from being absolute foxes to middle-aged women (Chinese people’s words not mine).

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37 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

double negative alert!
Maybe the young ones are not smart enough for that job.

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talljasperman's avatar

the hot ones stayed and are now older…it’s the same people

markferg's avatar

By the time I’ve managed get to the airport, check my bags in, get through security, sit about for hours and shuffle between a few gates meantime, checking out the cabin crew is just not on the list any more. Getting comfy and falling asleep is the new world order!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Funny. I heard the same comment from my Japanese coworkers. JAL flight attendants were/are impeccably dressed, professional and have the pleasant customer service smile on all the time. (They have perfect BMIs, too.) Then they fly on a certain US airline, with a name that is a direction, and the flight attendants have uniforms that are bursting at the buttons, have long, fake fingernails, talk among themselves in a non professional manner.
Something changed.
Now look at the passengers. I’m old enough to remember when passengers dressed up to fly. Men wore business suits or at least a sport coat. Now? Jeez. Look at the passengers. Like cattle. Hey this isn’t Ft Lauderdale on school break is it? By the way, I dress down, too.
Maybe it’s a combination of ‘we get what we pay for’ and ‘we deserve the same respect we show others’.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I, too, remember the days when they were younger and prettier and more polite. That said, their primary job is not to be hot and compliant, they are first and foremost supposed to be safety specialists.

WasCy's avatar

Age discrimination lawsuits.

Airlines can’t just let them go for being “not hot” (translated to: “not young”) any more.

I was going to let that stand with no judgmental comment, but I will say that it’s quite right that middle-aged cabin staff should be able to retain their jobs. After all, they’re not exactly entertainers and bar-girls. Or guys.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Just for the record, anyone can look and behave in a professional manner at any age. The Japanese think the long, fake fingernails are bizarre. (They creep me out too.)
If the job was purely for safety maybe we could do away with attendants and have air marshals or moonlighting marines take care of the passengers.

Uniforms should fit. Period. If you’ve put on a few pounds and the vest is too tight, maybe it’s time to admit it and either lose the weight or get a larger size – he says as he tries to squeeze into the unused, black 31” Levi 505 jeans that he got for $3 at Goodwill, while reluctantly admitting the 32” might be a tad more comfortable.

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jonsblond's avatar

My sister is a flight attendant. She’s hot (she is 50, but you should see her. She looks 35, and can rock a bikini, just ask @kevbo, he’s seen the pic) and many of her fellow co-workers are too. Maybe you need to fly Delta?

Austinlad's avatar

Great comment, @JilltheTooth. I totally agree.

@jlelandg, I’ve been doing a bit of flying lately, and you know what? Every time I make a safe landing, the hostesses and pilots look absolutely gorgeous to me!

janbb's avatar

I had thought one of the consequences of the second Feminist movement was that the best qualified person for the job got the job, The airlines I fly on have younger flight women attendants, older ones, .gay ones, HIspanic ones, etc. This is as it should be. Unprofessional behavior is never acceptable but I don’t think that is determined by age, sex or “hotness.”

JilltheTooth's avatar

@worriedguy : I agree with your comment about professionalism, but I didn’t mean “safety” as refers to potential terror threats, I meant general emergency safety. I don’t know what training entails now, but back in the day a lot of the training was endless drills in flight emergency situations; on board field medical training, in flight emergencies such as sudden loss of altitude situations, passenger management in emergency landing circumstances and such like.

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klutzaroo's avatar

This is an interesting blog. And apparently you aren’t talking about the red hotties from Virgin Airlines in their sexy uniforms and with their own TV show.

john65pennington's avatar

I am sure that age discrimination has played a huge roll in your question.

Another thought: some airlines are now owned by the employees. This would give them the total right to stay as long as they please.

Honestly, who cares? I am on a flight for a purpose and not to view Playboy models that just jumped out of a magazine. Most of these men and women are very nice and make you comfortable and are very attentive.

kevbo's avatar

@jonsblond ‘s sister absolutely rocks a bikini… and a machine gun.

Funny… my gf’s sister is 50 and is a “hot” flight attendent with such ridiculous fake boobs that she has to buy extra large uniforms and get them custom tailored.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

The hot girls from years back are now middle aged, have possibly had children and don’t have perky breasts that salute you as they hand you your peanuts.

The REAL question here, is where in the HELL are the hot MALE flight attendants?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Remember, flight attendants weren’t just discriminated against for being old – they needed to be a certain hight, weight, marital status (once they got married they got the boot), and actually hot (not all young people are hot).

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jlelandg's avatar

@rooeytoo in Asia, girls will work as a flight attendant for about 5 years then if their performance is good they move to office management within the airline. This isn’t a sexist question, it’s the TRUTH. I don’t necessarily care if they are hot or not, I was just wondering the difference.

rooeytoo's avatar

I repeat as @janbb said “the best qualified person for the job gets the job.” That could be why looks, age and waist measurement are no longer the qualifiers.

“Why aren’t American air hostesses hot anymore?” sure is worded in a sexist manner. And again I repeat for the same reason all male airline employees don’t look like George Clooney.

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sliceswiththings's avatar

No one watches “How I Met Your Mother?” There’s an episode (“Hooked”) where Barney explains this exact phenomenon. It’s as simple as the hot female job changing. First it was nurses, then flight attendants, then pharmaceutical sales reps. Look up the episode, I’d link you a video but my internet’s fuzzy tonight.

Jenniehowell's avatar

I think the answer is a combination of the discrimination list mentioned by @MyNewtBoobs & the answer in the link provided by @sliceswiththings

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tranquilsea's avatar

I’ll take efficient, friendly, helpful and funny over “hot” which is purely subjective anyway. Like this friendly, helpful and funny flight attendant who said, “We’d like to thank Captain Smith for testing the tire pressure on that touch down. You can all relax the pressure is fine” after the Captain hit the tarmac so hard my teeth slammed together. I needed something funny at that exact moment and he provided it.

wilma's avatar

I’m with you @tranquilsea humor goes further that hottness.
I had a (pretty), middle aged flight attendant who at one point announced “The captain will be dimming the lights to enhance the attractiveness of the flight crew.”

mattbrowne's avatar

Nowadays most hot women can afford airplane tickets. Flying around is common.

In the past young women competed with each other to land a coveted air hostess position. Today airlines compete with each other to recruit air hostesses.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

Compared with Air Asia’s hostesses….jeesh! Perhaps we don’t have the same sexual exploitations standards as other SE Asian countries, as in, women are treated more equally and American companies are worried about standards rather than looks? Or….?

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