Sex Objects in the Sky

Pucci's designs for Braniff flight attendants Bettman/Getty Images

As commercial airlines took off, so did the fetishizing of the white, attractive, eligible stewardesses on board. Cristen and Caroline discuss the original stewardesses, how sex sold airline tickets and flight attendants' fight for professional recognition.

Episode Sources:

"Flight attendants"

"The changing demography of U.S. flight attendants"

"The world's first flight attendant"

"Hired for their looks, promoted for their heroism: The first flight attendants"

"Glamour with altitude"

"Paper dresses and psychedelic catsuits: When airline fashion was flying high"

"How the gay airline steward became a stereotype"

"What sexual harassment looks like at 30,000 feet"

"35,000 feet: Where sexual harassment can still get a pass"

"Report: 27% of flight attendants sexually harassed"

"Delta flight attendant union battle went public and IAM withdraws application"

"Femininity in flight: Flight attendants and labor history"

Academic Insights:

"Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants." Kathleen Barry. Duke University Press, February 2007.