The way the genuine ‘Mad Men’ invented the sex-kitten stewardess
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The way the genuine ‘Mad Men’ invented the sex-kitten stewardess

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Its 6th period throwing off Sunday, April 7th, AMC’s Mad guys has sometimes portrayed the glamour and excitement of ukrainian brides videos airline travel in addition to apparently crazy and carefree everyday lives led by that era’s female flight attendants. But, relating to a brand new guide concerning the reputation for flight stewardesses, it had been men – and some ladies – at Mad Men-like marketing agencies that invented the image associated with sexy stewardess into the beginning.

In ” The sex that is jet Airlines Stewardesses additionally the creating of an American symbol,” journalist and historian Victoria Vantoch writes that into the mid-1960s, agencies wanting to “sex up” the stuffy trustworthiness of very early air companies began by changing adverts portraying feminine trip attendants as helpful, girl across the street kinds with images of “beguiling brand new stewardesses” guaranteeing coffee, tea and a lot more.

Baskas: Before marketing agencies got a part of the flight industry, just just how had been stewardesses promoted and portrayed?

Vantoch: when you look at the 1940s and 1950s, the stewardess ended up being popularly thought as a paragon of virginity, domesticity and wholesomeness. Air companies cultivated the airline stewardess image very carefully. She had been the consummate homemaker: a specialist at pampering guys, serving casserole and seeking pretty.

Baskas: exactly exactly exactly How did the ‘in-flight’ image of stewardesses into the 1950s compare with their actual life experiences?

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Vantoch: there clearly was a gulf that is huge sex ideals and real women’s life in mid-century America. The stewardess icon resolved that deep chasm between real life working women and the fantasy of the full-time happy housewife in a way. Stewardesses seemed to be these quintessential 1950s housewives, yet there have been simultaneously committed, separate profession women that traveled definately not home.”

Baskas: What occurred to that particular wholesomeness when Mad guys advertising businesses got mixed up in 1960s?

Vantoch: marketing agencies had been attempting to make airlines appear more hip and cool, so they really would charm to your emerging youth market. These advertisement agency professionals knew that the youth counterculture while the revolution that is sexual spreading across American tradition and additionally they knew it absolutely was becoming essential to resonate with your brand new social mores.

Baskas: and exactly how did they’re going about transforming the image that is stewardess nutritious, capable and virginal into something different?

Vantoch: To attract towards the country’s brand brand new 1960s mores, these advertisement agencies cultivated a hipper, sexy stewardess dressed up in stylish mini-dresses and uniforms that have been additionally more revealing. The airline that is first actually produce the sexy stewardess had been Braniff. Marketing pioneer Mary Wells annexed the Braniff airlines marketing and rolled away a campaign called the “Air Strip,” featuring stewardesses stripping down levels of the uniforms.

Baskas: That definitely would draw awareness of the safety announcement that is in-flight. Just What did other air companies do?

Vantoch: Other air companies adopted suit: flight advertisements started featuring stewardesses with teased hair, lying straight straight down on airplane seats and seeking seductively in the audience. TWA unveiled paper gown uniforms because of their stewardesses, which ripped effortlessly in trip. Pan Am kept hemlines lowest longest, but fundamentally they raised stewardess uniform hemlines aswell.

Baskas: it looks like all of that sex-kitten material would attract males. But women that are weren’t as people during this time period aswell?

Vantoch: It ended up beingn’t merely about attempting to sell airline travel to businessmen; it had been about offering airline travel towards the middle-class, including ladies, whom wished to be young, hip, and stylish.

Baskas: just How did the sex-kitten image of journey attendants compare for their real-life experiences?

Vantoch: genuine stewardesses would not passively accept this image that is new was indeed expressing, protesting, and legitimately fighting intercourse discrimination on the job well before the 1970s women’s movement gave a language and context due to their complaints. In fact, stewardesses won a number of the very first appropriate victories for ladies into the workforce and beat the tobacco industry because of the first ban against cigarette smoking in the workplace.

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