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Norwegian Air Keeping Mile High Barbie Alive

Norwegian Air Keeping Mile High Barbie Alive
Jackie Reddy

Norwegian has recently been criticized for upholding strict and even anachronistic rules regarding the personal appearance of its female cabin crew members. The Guardian’s Barbara Ellen writes that the airline’s enforcement of this kind of aesthetic perpetuates an outdated stereotype of female crew.

When it comes to make-up, dress and overall appearance of cabin crew, many airlines – most notably, Virgin Atlantic – are now scrapping long-enforced views and rules. But, as The Guardian‘s Barbara Ellen writes, low-cost carrier Norwegian, which hit headlines earlier this month for the continued enforcement of rules regarding the personal appearance of female crew members, appears intent on perpetrating the anachronistic “oversexualized” “air hostess” cliche.”

While female members of cabin crew certainly aren’t the only professionals for whom appearance has long been heavily regulated, Ellen states that, “All too easily, “smart” or “groomed” or “brand-appropriate” become euphemisms for something quite different. It’s as if, for some women, their first task is to look semi-sexually available and anything else they achieve during the working day is a bonus.”

“It’s not that women don’t sometimes wish to dress glamorously or sexually, and are entitled to, but that they’re structurally expected and pressured to, in ways that men aren’t,” Ellen further explains.

In a final rejoinder on the subject, she writes, “As with all work environments, if men aren’t required to totter about in heels, why on earth are women?”

[Image Source: Norwegian Air]

View Comments (4)


  1. Irpworks

    April 24, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Go Norwegian Air! Hopefully they’ll ask customers to dress decently too.

  2. lindros2

    May 3, 2019 at 5:27 am

    if men are required to wear ties, why not women?
    if women are to wear bras, why not men?
    if a bull had a… would it be useless?

  3. Cupart

    May 5, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Has nothing to do with the facts stated. This is a cry for free publicity of a failing airline.

    Mick from Ryan air did the same a few years ago and it worked wonders. Bad publicity is good publicity for these kind of companies so stick that in yer pipe…

  4. WilcoRoger

    May 7, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Let’s be clear – this is a post quoting an opinion piece in The Guardian that refers to an article in the Telegraph, which has issues about female crew having to wear heels as part of their uniform and the writer of the opinion piece calls the FAs “mile-high Barbies”.

    Pathetic, to say the least.

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