A striking advertisement for a “TWA Air Hostess” caught someone’s eye from the mid-1940s, requiring various “qualifications” that would be illegal in today’s job market. The company was searching exclusively for an alluring young woman, who could captivate men during their flights across the United States – whether they were traveling on business or leisurely trips.
The job listing was filled with discriminatory requirements, such as only accepting women that had attended college for one year or were registered nurses and those between the ages of twenty-one to twenty-six. Furthermore, applicants needed to meet strict height and weight guidelines; they must have been between five feet two inches to five feet six inches tall and weighed a maximum of 130 pounds. It’s incredulous that these specific criteria would be required in any modern society.
Transcontinental and Western Air, Incorporated had strict requirements for the women who applied to be air hostesses; not only did they need to have the correct body type, but also had to remain unmarried. The advertisement clearly stated that “single” applicants were preferred, making it evident that married ladies should steer away from applying for the job.
The advertisement goes on to reveal the details about locations where women with these exact measurements can interview for a job as an air hostess at TWA.
“Interviews conducted Friday, September 21 at the Herring Hotel from ten a.m. until seven p.m.” Miss Dorothy Rotenhagen eagerly awaits your inquiry if you are interested in learning more about potential job openings within the airline. Reach out to her for additional information and be one step closer to securing an interview!
The job ad stirred up a whirlwind of controversy on Reddit, with over four thousand comments from people who both praised and disparaged the misogynistic content.
“My aunt was a flight attendant in the ’60s. They had to be pretty, maintain a certain weight, and be single. If they married, they had to quit. They were also required to wear makeup and do their hair according to guidelines.”
“My mom was a flight attendant in the ’70s. She trained herself to sleep on her back in full hair and makeup in case she got called in. I can’t even imagine that today.”
“My mom was also an attendant in the 60s. She was weighed before every flight. If she were a pound over 135, she was not allowed on the plane and not paid for the day. It had absolutely no effect on her mental health and relationship with food, and in no way passed that trauma to her children. It’s all cool and good.”
“As a graduate of a top private college and military vet father, I was called in for recruitment as Federal Air Marshal, a.k.a. Sky Marshal. One of their sales pitches was unlimited sex with stewardesses who were dormed with other flight crew before return flights.”