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Throwing it back today to 1989:
“Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to American Airlines Flight Number 6, from New York’s JFK to San Francisco. Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the aisle for a safety demonstration. . .”
Ah, that first grown-up, post-college job: flight attendant. My ticket to see the world. I was all of 22 years old and ready to roll out of Athens, Georgia into The Big Apple.
One of the things that drew me to being a flight attendant was the style and glamour that I associated with it. At that time, “style” and “beauty” were a part of the curriculum for American Airlines’ flight attendant training. Weeks were spent on learning how to up the ante on my makeup game; how to tie the innumerable scarves and accessories. I was exposed to newer, nicer, more luxurious products for skin care and makeup. American Airlines was quite strict in its screening of their trainees’ personal appearance and presentation. My weight was monitored: “weighing in” was a weekly occurrence that put even a skinny girl like me into a tailspin. One of the job requirements was that I had to cut my hair from nearly waist-length to grazing just the tops of my shoulders. I was instructed in the American ways of the “George Washington” ponytail. But what I remember most was having to ensure my lipstick and nail polish were applied neatly and boldly at all times. Not only did I not mind it, I savored every moment of it. This job was truly about service and was extremely physically-demanding. However my take-away was that it was corporate and professional and beautiful. So, that’s what I made of it. And it’s what many flight attendants today make of it. Maybe because I was one, whenever I travel now, I’m checking out the flight attendants. I take notice of new uniforms; the FA’s who still walk from gate to gate in a pair of high heels; the ones who wear the Red Dresses (Go Delta!), the airline-issued luggage; and the winter gear. I still love it all. This job was a formative piece of my career in beauty.
So here’s a little secret I’m going to let you in on: flight attendants are professional communicators. Not only with the traveling public, but amongst each other. They have very few precious minutes of sitting while taxiing on a runway and just before landing. They sit on those specialized units called “jump seats” and have a couple of moments to catch up with other crew members. They talk and share information about all kinds of things, and for our purposes, we are going to be privy to some of their beauty secrets from around this world. I’m fortunate to have several friends who are career flight attendants. They’ve seen and heard it all. And we have so much to learn from them.
Welcome to the newest project of Prime Time Pretty. . . welcome to “Jump Seat Beauty”!
Tip #1: Wear your lipstick bold.