How a genuine ‘Mad Men’ invented the sex-kitten stewardess

How a genuine ‘Mad Men’ invented the sex-kitten stewardess

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Its 6th period throwing down Sunday, April 7th, AMC’s Mad guys has periodically portrayed the glamour and excitement of airline travel additionally the apparently crazy and carefree life led by that era’s flight that is female. But, relating to an innovative new guide in regards to the reputation for flight stewardesses, it had been men – and some ladies – at Mad Men-like marketing agencies that created the image associated with the sexy stewardess when you look at the first place.

In ” The Jet Sex – Airlines Stewardesses and also the creating of an American symbol,” journalist and historian Victoria Vantoch writes that into the mid-1960s, agencies attempting to “sex up” the stuffy standing of very very early air companies started by changing advertisements portraying feminine journey attendants as helpful, girl across the street kinds with pictures of “beguiling new stewardesses” guaranteeing coffee, tea and even more.

Baskas: Before advertising agencies got involved in the flight industry, just exactly how had been stewardesses portrayed and promoted?

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

Baskas: just exactly How did the ‘in-flight’ image of stewardesses within the 1950s compare for their true to life experiences?

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Vantoch: there is a gulf that is huge sex ideals and real women’s everyday lives 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 looked like these quintessential 1950s housewives, yet there have been simultaneously committed, separate profession women who traveled not even close to home.”

Baskas: What occurred to that particular wholesomeness whenever Mad guys advertising companies got active in the 1960s?

Vantoch: Advertising agencies had been attempting to make airlines appear more hip and cool, so they really would impress into the rising youth market. These advertisement agency professionals knew that the youth counterculture and also the revolution that is sexual spreading across US tradition and additionally they knew it had been becoming crucial to resonate with your brand new social mores.

Baskas: and exactly how did each goes about transforming the image that is stewardess nutritious, capable and virginal into another thing?

Vantoch: To attract towards the country’s brand new 1960s mores, these advertisement agencies cultivated a hipper, sexy stewardess wearing fashionable mini-dresses and uniforms which were additionally more revealing. The very first flight to actually produce the sexy stewardess ended up being Braniff. Marketing pioneer Mary Wells overran the Braniff airlines marketing and rolled away a campaign called the “Air Strip,” featuring stewardesses stripping down levels of the uniforms.

Baskas: That undoubtedly would draw focus on the safety announcement that is in-flight. What did other airlines do?

Vantoch: Other air companies implemented suit: flight advertisements started stewardesses that are featuring teased hair, lying down on airplane seats and seeking seductively during the audience. TWA revealed paper gown uniforms because of their stewardesses, which ripped effortlessly in trip. Pan Am kept hemlines lowest longest, but sooner or later they raised stewardess uniform hemlines also.

Baskas: it appears as though all that sex-kitten material would attract guys. But weren’t females flying as people during this time period too?

Vantoch: It ended up beingn’t merely about attempting to sell airline travel to entrepreneurs; it absolutely was about attempting to sell airline travel into the middle-class, including ladies, who desired to be young, hip, and trendy.

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

Vantoch: genuine stewardesses failed to passively accept this image that is new was in fact expressing, protesting, and lawfully fighting intercourse discrimination at work well before the 1970s women’s movement gave a language and context for his or her complaints. In reality, stewardesses won a few of the very first appropriate victories for females within the workforce and beat the tobacco industry aided by the ban that is first cigarette smoking on the job.

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