Union Derides ‘Beauty Contest'

American Airlines seeks ‘Face of Your Base’

by Bruce Felps

One side’s model search is the opposition’s cattle, or rather, booty call sans the late-night drunk-dialing.

American Airlines put out word among its flight attendant ranks that it wants fine-looking employees to grace the pages of various internal marketing materials such as newsletters and brochures to promote new uniform designs for attendants. That seems no different from any other company advertising goods or services with pretty people.

Laura Glading, the president of the flight attendant union, according to a USA Today article, called the model search a "ridiculous, insulting beauty contest."

She’s quoted as saying, "This campaign just transported us back 50 years to the days of girdles, weight-checks and single, female-only stewardesses having to quit when they were married, pregnant or reached the ripe old age of 30." Let’s not forget the hold-the-dime-in-the-cheeks posture airlines used to demand of stewardesses back when they were called “stewardesses” — and that doesn’t involve facial features.

The model search, called “Face of Your Base” because it seeks representatives from each AA flight base, is open to women and men, so there goes any great hue and cry about sexism.

"We created this campaign as an opportunity to celebrate American Airlines' flight attendants and highlight the uniform revamp that's coming soon. The focus is on the professional appearance of our male and female flight attendants and how the new uniform pieces will best represent the American brand. The campaign is an internal program created by flight attendants and field managers as a way to recognize their colleagues and inform all of our employees about the uniform changes. It's also important to remember that for APFA, this is less about the uniforms or internal company programs. This type of rhetoric is expected from unions in the middle of negotiations," said Missy Cousino, American Airlines spokesperson.

Besides, I’ve been on American flights and seen some pret-tee homely attendants who were way past 30, there Laura, so the statement looks a bit unfair.

Let the pretty people fall where they may and of their own volition.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He volunteers to be a judge.

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