Coffee, Tea or Me? The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses
From the moment the first stewardesses took flight in 1930, flight attendants became glamorous icons of femininity. For decades, airlines hired only young, attractive, unmarried white women.
They marketed passenger service aloft as an essentially feminine exercise in exuding charm, looking fabulous, and providing comfort. The actual work that flight attendants did—ensuring passenger safety, assuaging fears, serving food and drinks, all while conforming to airlines’ strict rules about appearance—was supposed to appear effortless; the better that stewardesses performed by airline standards, the more hidden were their skills and labor.