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 as well as the seemingly crazy and carefree life led by that era’s flight that is female. But, based on a brand new guide concerning the reputation for flight stewardesses, it absolutely was men – and some women – at Mad Men-like marketing agencies that created the image for the sexy stewardess into the beginning.

In ” The sex that is jet Airlines Stewardesses and also the Making of an American symbol,” journalist and historian Victoria Vantoch writes that when you look at the mid-1960s, agencies attempting to “sex up” the stuffy trustworthiness of very very early air companies began by changing advertisements portraying feminine journey attendants as helpful, girl across the street types with pictures of “beguiling brand new stewardesses” guaranteeing coffee, tea and many other things.

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

Vantoch: into the 1940s and 1950s, the stewardess ended up being popularly thought being a paragon of virginity, domesticity and wholesomeness. Air companies cultivated the flight stewardess image very very carefully. She was 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 was clearly a huge gulf between sex ideals and real women’s best ukrainian brides 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 women that traveled definately not home.”

Baskas: What occurred to this wholesomeness whenever Mad guys advertising businesses got active in the 1960s?

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

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

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

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

Vantoch: Other air companies observed suit: flight adverts started stewardesses that are featuring teased locks, lying down on airplane seats and seeking seductively during the audience. TWA revealed paper dress uniforms with their stewardesses, which ripped effortlessly in journey. Pan Am kept hemlines lowest longest, but ultimately they raised stewardess uniform hemlines also.

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

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

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

Vantoch: genuine stewardesses failed to passively accept this image that is new was indeed expressing, protesting, and lawfully fighting intercourse discrimination on the job a long time before the 1970s women’s movement gave a language and context due to their complaints. In reality, stewardesses won a number of the very first appropriate victories for females within the workforce and overcome the tobacco industry aided by the ban that is first cigarette smoking on the job.

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