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

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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.

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