American Airlines’ search for the best-looking flight attendants has been criticized as a “ridiculous beauty contest”.
The airline began the hunt last week, asking its crew to vote on who looks the most “superb” in its new uniforms, Bloomberg reported.
However flight attendants have demanded an end to the contest, which they say harks back to the era of weigh-ins and wearing girdles.
Laura Glading, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, has urged cabin crew to boycott the “ridiculous, insulting beauty contest”.
“This campaign just transported us back 50 years to the days of girdles, weight-checks and single, female-only stewardesses having to quit when they were married, pregnant or reached the ripe old age of 30,” Glading said in an email to the union’s 18,000 US members.
The contest has also been criticized as undermining their main job of ensuring safety.
She urged members to boycott the “ridiculous, insulting beauty contest”.
However the airline claims that staff have been pleased to be nominated.
“We understand that every campaign may not be of interest to every flight attendant, but encourage those who want to participate to do so,” a spokeswoman for American Airlines said.
“We’ve had several flight attendants express how flattered they were to be nominated to be featured in our internal company materials.”
Winners of the Face of Your Base contest will participate in a photo shoot for the airline.