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August 27, 2019

Pretty, Thin, Young and Single: Here Are Some Bizarre Requirements for Stewardess in the 1950s

To be an airline stewardess — you know, what we call a flight attendant now — back in the early part of the jet age, you didn’t need technical skills, geography knowledge, safety know-how or travel experience. What the airlines were really looking for was simple: women who were pretty, slim, young and single.

Here’s a look at the some of the requirements and preferences that put you in the running for a coveted stewardess job back in the 1950s.

1. Soft and Feminine Hairstyle

Back in the 1950’s, one requirement was that the women had to have a soft and feminine hairstyle to make them look as much of a woman as they could. Their hair had to be short but lady-like.

2. Delicate but Flattering Makeup

The flight attendants in the 1950s had to wear makeup but it had to be light. In other words, they had to be pretty but not too pretty.

3. Hands Soft and Manicured

They had to make sure their hands were soft and manicured lightly. Light enough to look as natural as possible.

4. Light Jewelry

Although they were allowed to wear some jewelry, it had to be light. They were allowed one strand of pearls with one charm and maybe a pair of stud earrings.

5. Maximum Weight: 135 Pounds

Back in the 1950s, the female flight attendants were actually weighed before they started each shift. If they were over 135 pounds even by a little, they weren’t allowed to work. However, they did away with this requirement decades ago, thankfully.

6. Wear a Girdle

Not only did they have to diet and keep their weight at exactly 135 pounds but they had to wear a well-fitted girdle on top of that. This was so no extra inches would get into their uniform.

7. Height Between 5’2” to 5’6”

Although they wore high heels, their height had to be between 5”2 and 5”6 if they wanted to work. Today, you will see female flight attendants well over six feet tall.

8. Hemlines of Skirts Modest

Their hemlines on their skirts had to be perfect. Not too long and not too short but just right in the middle.

9. Smooth Legs Free From Hair

The women had to shave their legs perfectly and their legs had to be smooth and free from hair. They couldn’t even have a couple of hairs on their legs. Luckily, today, this is not a requirement but is optional. Although every woman still shaves their legs, at least it isn’t a requirement these days.

10. Feet Well Groomed

Since they had to wear shirts and heels, they showed some of their feet. Because of this, their feet had to be well-groomed. This meant classiness over comfort back then!

11. Soft and Well-Modulated Voice

They were not to shout or scream at the guests on the plane. They had to talk in a soft and well-modulated voice. They were actually told to change the tone of their voice!

12. Had to Smell Good

Although they couldn’t put so much perfume on that it overpowered everything on the plane, they had to smell pleasant and nice. It had to be a perfect scent and had to be just right, as in not too much and not too little.

13. Had to be Single

They couldn’t be married or even have a boyfriend. They had to be totally single and unattached to anyone.


  1. This aren't odd requirements. What's weird is allowing the fat, old, cows they have today.

  2. Fat old cows do their best for jersey maid and they have to pay rent.




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