*Lots of people strip for a living: exotic dancers, professional swimmers, manicurists, painters (wait for it…), but while it would up the ante for membership in the “mile high club,” most flight attendants who ask “Would you like a beverage?” do so fully dressed.
That didn’t stop a Chinese modeling school from requiring potential flight attendants to parade around in skimpy bikinis before they were offered jobs.
To keep it real, my initial reaction upon hearing this was “Sounds good to me.” Yeah, I’m a freak.
My second reaction was “Did the male applications have to parade around in Speedos?” Yeah, I’m a gender equality-loving, equal opportunity freak.
The Oriental Beauty modeling agency hosted the event, and entrants were required to be “elegant, slim, have [a] sweet voice and have no scars in the exposed part of their skin.” To be considered for the competition, women had to be at least 5’6″ tall, but exceptions were made for those at least 5’5″ if she was exceptionally pretty.
One inch shorter was ok IF she was hot. I kid you not.
Some people took offense at this whole event. Again, no shit, Sherlock.
“We condemn those responsible for this publicity stunt at the expense of women everywhere,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA) International, in a statement.
Now here’s where I’m about to really get into trouble: I would almost guarantee you Nelson looks like hell in a bikini.
“This is not a fight just for the women of China,” Nelson continued. “In this era of increased globalization and trade agreements that pit American workers against these abhorrent labor practices, our union understands this very real threat to Flight Attendants in the U.S. and around the world.”
Via an email statement, Nelson reminded readers that at one time, airlines in the United States imposed discriminatory practices on flight attendants as well, imposing “girdle checks” and weigh-ins for flight attendants before the plane would take off.
I think that’s outrageous. Inexcusable. No one wears girdles anymore, so they should be checking for Spanx.
And I think we should go back to weighing flight attendants before flights are cleared for take-off.
First, I worry enough about the flight taking off with my fat ass on it, let alone the asses of other much larger passengers with whom I’m often sandwiched in. The least airlines could do is enforce weight restriction for flight attendants — and while they’re at it, pilots and other on-board staff.
Hell, if they’re going to limit the weight of my bags, claiming that heavier loads require more gasoline and can cause other on-flight problems, they should limit the weight of their own asses.
Second, I really don’t want a fat assed flight attendant lumbering down that narrow airplane aisle, jockeying for space as equally obese passengers are fighting to get to the restroom, while delivering my meager snacks to my eager gullet.
Now, let’s talk about the gender bias. “Bikini” implies that the restrictions don’t apply to male flight attendant applicants. Let me be clear, again, and say that I want my guys to be every bit as attractive as my women when they’re bringing me my snacks, so I looked into whether there was a Speedo-wearing audition for the fellas.
There’s good news for those who got excited by that thought. A news story from a few years ago features pictures of male and female flight attendant hopefuls in VERY skimpy swimsuits, reporting that the competition begin in 2006.
I’m all for it. Gender equality. And for both genders, for flight attendants anyway, the thinner and prettier, the better.
This blog was written by Michael P Coleman, who at 217 pounds is 22 pounds above his goal weight and believes “fat” is a state of mind. Tweet him: @ColemanMichaelP