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 sporadically portrayed the glamour and excitement of airline travel and also the apparently crazy and carefree everyday lives led by that era’s female flight attendants. But, based on a unique book in regards to the reputation for flight stewardesses, it absolutely was men – and some ladies – at Mad Men-like marketing agencies that created the image regarding the sexy stewardess within the place that is first.

In ” The Jet Sex – Airlines Stewardesses additionally the generating of an American Icon,” journalist and historian Victoria Vantoch writes that into the mid-1960s, agencies attempting to “sex up” the stuffy trustworthiness of very early air companies started by changing adverts 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, just how had been stewardesses promoted and portrayed?

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

Baskas: exactly just just How did the ‘in-flight’ image of stewardesses within the 1950s compare with their real world experiences?

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Vantoch: there was clearly a huge gulf between sex ideals and real women’s life 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 appeared as if these quintessential 1950s housewives, yet there were simultaneously committed, separate job women that traveled definately not home.”

Baskas: What took place to that particular 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 into the youth market that is emerging. These advertising agency professionals knew that the youth counterculture additionally the intimate revolution had been spreading across US tradition plus they knew it had been becoming crucial to resonate by using these brand brand new social mores.

Baskas: and exactly how did they’re going about transforming the stewardess image from wholesome, capable and virginal into another thing?

Vantoch: To attract towards the country’s brand new 1960s mores, these advertising agencies cultivated a hipper, sexy stewardess dressed up in stylish mini-dresses and uniforms which were additionally more revealing. The airline that is first 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 truly would draw awareness of the in-flight security statement. Just exactly just What did other air companies do?

Vantoch: Other air companies adopted suit: flight adverts started featuring stewardesses with teased locks, lying straight 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 fundamentally they raised stewardess uniform hemlines also.

Baskas: it appears as though all of that sex-kitten material would attract guys. But women that are weren’t as people during this period aswell?

Vantoch: It ended up beingn’t merely about attempting to sell airline travel to entrepreneurs; it russian bride had been about offering airline travel towards the middle-class, including ladies, who wished to be young, hip, and stylish.

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

Vantoch: Real stewardesses would not passively accept this image that is new was indeed expressing, protesting, and legitimately fighting intercourse discrimination at work well before the 1970s women’s movement gave a language and context with their complaints. In reality, stewardesses won a few of the very very first appropriate victories for females within the workforce and beat the tobacco industry utilizing the ban that is first smoking cigarettes on the job.

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