The Dark Ages weren't so very long ago...

September 04, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-

My company offered a cash incentive to have older, more senior Flight Attendants retire, and this was effective August 31st.  Another airline is doing the same thing, and Facebook pages are popping up where those leaving are posting old photos, and memorabilia and sharing stories.  These next two photos come from one of those Facebook pages:

"June 17, 1968

We are pleased to confirm your acceptance for stewardess training and look forward to having you join the United Airlines family.

Before deciding to offer you this position you were carefully evaluated on your personality, your educational and work experience, your poise and your desire to assist others, and your appearance.  Quite frankly, we feel you are a very special individual and will be a welcome addition to our organization.

Since we may not have a further opportunity to meet with you before you begin training, we would like to ask your cooperation in keeping us advised concerning yourself.  Occasionally we find that a young woman will develop a complexion problem or experience a significant weight change after her final employment interview.  At your interview it was noted that your complexion was clear and your weight was within our limits for a young woman of your height...

Young women who arrive at our Training Center with complexion problems or weight outside our limits are asked to return home.  We want to do everything we can to avoid this from happening for we have no wish to inconvenience or embarrass any of our stewardess trainees.  If we are made aware of the potential problems before a young lady arrives at our Training Center, we are usually able to reschedule her class date and give her additional time to solve her temporary problem...."

This one, I think you can read clearly enough.  In case you can't, it is a "Notice of Stewardess Employment Conditions" where women had to sign that they would resign their Stewardess position if they got married, or turned 32 years old.

I've always known about the restrictions these women and men had placed upon them...but, to actually see it in writing...makes my head spin!  The women that started so long ago really did pave the way for me to be a Flight Attendant, with respect, dignity and a little too much meat on my bones, topped with an occasional zit on my face.