28-May-2010

Prettiness for air hostesses

It's a given that air hostesses must be pretty. When you travel on a flight you see them--they are attractive, with makeup painted on and often wear figure-hugging clothes.

Along with being pretty, they are frequently snobbish and cool. I see two ways of looking at this. One, the view that many take: they are conceited because they look so good and have a fair amount of control in the plane. Two, perhaps they have had bad experiences of men making passes at them and the like, and so maintain the frosty attitude to keep away such advances. Just because a woman is dressed that way does not mean she is 'available'. If the uniform were more dignified, she would look more dignified, and people would behave more decently towards her.

What I'm wondering is, why does an air hostess need to be pretty or have a model-like figure? She must know how the flight works, the policies of the airline, how to do her job on board, take charge in emergency situations, and be efficient in taking care of passengers' needs. Why has she got to be eye candy?

True, many training schools and airlines say that hostesses don't have to be pretty, just tall enough (to close the overhead cabins?), but there's obviously a belief (based on observations) that they are pretty/attractive. Some time ago, the papers and people were talking about the hostesses on certain Indian airlines being 'too old' and ugly to be employed!

Search for 'air hostess' on Google Images to see what the world thinks of them.

06-Apr-2009

Designations and Hierarchy

I chose to be a freelance writer about ten years ago. During all these years I have had the same designation, except that I added 'editor' also to it as per my experience.

I look at my colleagues of ten years ago in business networking sites and see where they are today--they have designations like President, Asst Vice President, something Manager, Head something else, and they have gone from being simple writers, visualisers, programmers and artists to marketing, branding, business strategy, various areas of design and management. It's almost like a different language--the language of today, and it seems to my eyes and ears a noisy, loud language that needs translation and gains status from its complexity and verbiage.

If I had continued working for companies, maybe I would be listing my areas of experience with this same language, and hold a similarly grand(iose?) designation. I raise no objections to the way life is here, but just observe from a distance because I have remained aloof from the flow in a way.

But few people understand or appreciate being different from the crowd. Parents want their children to have these designations and salaries, the means to showing off and not being different--quite like the Dursleys in the Harry Potter series.

Even teachers appreciate students who have gone into the same race, all running with foreign labelled clothes, smelling suavely of perfume and cologne, clocking so many hours of work a day, driving cars, buying houses in the plural. Definitely they deserve much appreciation for the race is tough and you need to survive it everyday with various skills.

But the few who choose to stay out of the race and try to live their dreams deserve no less. Some friends have said to me, I wish I had the courage to do as you did, leave behind the good salary and the security to take on the adventure of working as a freelancer, on your own terms and pace. But most other people are unimpressed, even sorry for the likes of us. :)

01-Apr-2009

"Beef Cattle"

Cattle raised for meat, and also possibly leather, are called 'beef cattle'.

I take huge and deep offense to this term and this concept. It's a thing of nightmares.
Who are we to force animals to give birth according to our wishes, to control them for our 'needs' (wants, means of livelihood, wealth) and slaughter them (even calves!) to supply meat for human consumption?

There is something deeply wrong about what we're doing. We have stopped even thinking about these things any more, it has become taken for granted so much.

People will sneer and laugh at my outrage because they think this is how things are done, have always been done, and will continue to be done. They will say 'You can't take these stupid moral attitudes for this sort of thing' - they expect everyone to blinker their senses and kill off any such questions and rebellion that come up within them and just go with the trend, go with the flow.

We're living off other creatures. We're not just ordinary parasites, we're cunning, cruel, vicious parasites.

This has got to stop. At least let us stop cheating ourselves into thinking this concept of beef cattle, mutton sheep, and the like are OK. It's not. Remember, it's not acceptable, it's not right, it's not normal.

Yes, we're omnivores, but we used to live differently back then when supply chains had not been invented. It would do us good to remember that.

18-Mar-2009

Men versus Women

I just got this joke in the mail:

A biker was riding along a California beach when suddenly he hears a booming voice from the sky. The Lord said, "Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."

The biker pulled over and said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want."

The Lord said, "Your request is materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required toreach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it,but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that would honour and glorify me."

The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, "Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing is wrong, and how I can make a woman truly happy."

The Lord replied, "You want two lanes or four on that bridge?"

Really, I get tired of these kind of jokes. It simply perpetuates the myth that women are hard to understand and please, and that men are mystified by them.

The man could understand his wife if he put in the effort to understand her. Want to know what she feels inside? Try asking her. She will be touched that you care enough to ask. Then, listen to what she has to say. Asking is easy, listening is tougher, and accepting/understanding what she's saying is the toughest because if you want the easy way out (like the bridge to Hawaii) and cannot think beyond your own needs all the time, you cannot access anything good and long lasting in life.

21-Nov-2008

11-Aug-2008

What Kind of Flower Are You?

"You have a shy personality. You tend to hesitate before trying new things or meeting new people. But once people get to know you, you open up and show the world what you are really all about."

Pretty true, I think.

Check what kind of flower you are.

07-Mar-2008

Book Quiz

You're The Poisonwood Bible!
by Barbara Kingsolver

Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people, but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be Belgian.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.


I think I will only focus on the "wise beyond your years" :D I must also look up the Belgian waffle.

Incidentally, this is an Excellent book (I've reviewed it here).