Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Flight Tales: This Naari has all the Right Attitude at an Altitude

At the beginning of my flight attendant career, I was indecently propositioned by an airline executive during the selection process. I refused his offer and he declined the job opening to me. In the coming years, I have heard of so many injustices fought and survived by female crew members. A major salute to those brave women who continue to work above the clouds dedicatedly.

But this write-up is not about any of those cases.

I am also going to be a little biased here and turn a blind eye to the issues of male flight attendants.

It's Women's Day after all!
From my experience, the airline industry is generally very open-minded and crew members enjoy professional yet easygoing equations. It isn't utopia, but gender is never the reason for inequality in pay packets and promotions and the acceptance of women bosses comes rather easily to their male subordinates. Yet, even in this fairly blissful environment, this 2018, I would like to see an ease in other genuine concerns that eternally frustrate the ladies.

The skinniness of some new hires is gradually lost in subsequent years owing to the consumption of aircraft food, erratic schedules, sleep deprivation and the general lack of time for exercise. Sisterhood is experienced among some by the gain of both seniority and saddlebags.

Observing their uniforms becoming tighter and further recruitment of bony new crew, women are easily reminded of their past slenderness.

And what about those paper-thin ones that seem to hold a monopoly over the highest metabolism rate? They tend to put on weight only between their toes.

And mind you some crew members who are mothers make miracles happen. They balance out their baby woes and gym sessions perfectly and look better proportioned than the single ladies. With shapely ambitions, girls find themselves hunting for connections with trainers and diets with fancy names.

Since airlines swear by politically correct behaviour, nobody resorts to cruel shaming that could happen elsewhere. Until the obsession is limited to fitness – and not perfect bodies – things are fine.

But what do we do about the self-doubt that some women inflict upon themselves by making comparisons? Intense group discussions on board flights revolve only around their fuller figures and their connection to their love-hate relationship with food.
07/03/18 Pinky Eppaturi/The Quint