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

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Its 6th period throwing down Sunday, April 7th, AMC’s Mad guys has sporadically portrayed the glamour and excitement of airline travel additionally the apparently crazy and carefree everyday lives led by that era’s feminine flight attendants. But, based on a brand new guide concerning the reputation for airline stewardesses, it absolutely was men – and some ladies – at Mad Men-like marketing agencies that created the image associated with sexy stewardess when you look at the beginning.

In ” The Jet Sex – Airlines Stewardesses additionally the creating of an American symbol,” journalist and historian Victoria Vantoch writes that within the mid-1960s, agencies attempting to “sex up” the stuffy trustworthiness of very very early airlines began by changing adverts portraying female journey attendants as helpful, girl across the street kinds with pictures of “beguiling brand new stewardesses” guaranteeing coffee, tea and even more.

Baskas: Before marketing agencies got associated with the flight industry, exactly just how had been stewardesses promoted and portrayed?

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

Baskas: just 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 huge gulf between gender 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 seemed to be these quintessential 1950s housewives, yet there have been simultaneously committed, separate job ladies who traveled definately not home.”

Baskas: What took place to that particular wholesomeness whenever Mad guys advertising organizations got active in the 1960s?

Vantoch: marketing agencies had been attempting to make airlines appear more hip and cool, so that they would impress to your growing youth market. These advertising agency professionals knew that the youth counterculture while the intimate revolution had been spreading across US tradition and additionally they knew it absolutely was becoming essential to resonate with one of these brand brand new social mores.

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

Vantoch: To allure to your country’s 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 first flight to 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 these uniforms.

Baskas: That undoubtedly would draw focus on the in-flight security statement. just What did other air companies do?

Vantoch: Other air companies implemented suit: airline adverts started stewardesses that are featuring teased locks, lying straight straight down on airplane seats and seeking seductively in the viewer. TWA revealed paper gown uniforms because of their stewardesses, which ripped easily in trip. Pan Am kept hemlines lowest longest, but ultimately they raised uniform that is stewardess also.

Baskas: it appears as though all that sex-kitten material would attract males Continue. But women that are weren’t as people during this time period too?

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

Baskas: just just How did the image that is sex-kitten of attendants compare with their real-life experiences?

Vantoch: genuine stewardesses failed to passively accept this image that is new was in fact expressing, protesting, and legitimately fighting intercourse discrimination on the job a long time before the 1970s women’s movement gave a language and context for his or her complaints. In fact, stewardesses won a number of the very very first appropriate victories for ladies when you look at the workforce and overcome the tobacco industry with all the ban that is first cigarette smoking in the workplace.




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