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

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

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Its 6th period throwing off Sunday, April 7th, AMC’s Mad guys has periodically 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, relating to a unique guide in regards to the history of flight stewardesses, it absolutely was men – and some ladies – at Mad Men-like marketing agencies that created the image regarding the sexy stewardess into the place that is first.

In ” The sex that is jet Airlines Stewardesses and also the generating 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 early air companies began by changing advertisements portraying feminine trip attendants as helpful, girl across the street kinds with pictures of “beguiling brand brand new stewardesses” guaranteeing coffee, tea and a lot more.

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

Vantoch: within the 1940s and 1950s, the stewardess had been 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 specialist at pampering guys, serving casserole and seeking pretty.

Baskas: just just just How did the ‘in-flight’ image of stewardesses within the 1950s compare for their real world 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. In ways, the stewardess symbol resolved that deep chasm between real world working ladies as well as the dream of this full-time happy housewife. Stewardesses looked like these quintessential 1950s housewives, yet there have been simultaneously ambitious, separate job women that traveled definately not home.”

Baskas: What took place to this wholesomeness whenever Mad Men 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 attract towards the rising youth market. These advertisement agency executives knew that the youth counterculture as well as the intimate revolution had been spreading across US tradition in addition they knew it had been becoming crucial to resonate by using these brand brand new social mores.

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

Vantoch: To impress to your country’s 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. Advertising pioneer Mary Wells annexed the Braniff airlines marketing and rolled down a campaign called the “Air Strip,” featuring stewardesses stripping down levels of the uniforms.

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

Vantoch: Other air companies accompanied suit: flight advertisements started featuring stewardesses with teased locks, lying straight down on airplane seats and seeking seductively during the audience. TWA revealed paper dress uniforms with regards to their stewardesses, which ripped effortlessly in journey. Pan Am kept hemlines lowest longest, but sooner or later they raised uniform that is stewardess aswell.

Baskas: it appears as though all of 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 just about attempting to sell airline travel to entrepreneurs; it had been about attempting to sell air travel towards the middle-class, including females, whom desired to be young, hip, and trendy.

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

Vantoch: genuine stewardesses would not passively accept this image that is new was indeed 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 number of the very very first appropriate victories for females into the workforce and overcome the tobacco industry utilizing the very first ban against cigarette smoking on the job.

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