In the news, we read about flights all over Europe delayed by striking British Airways
flight attendants, but in popular culture, people seem to long for the old days. We all know not to call them "stewardesses" anymore, right? Apparently not, according to a new reality show on the CW network called Fly Girls. The show follows five Virgin Atlantic flight attendants who share a "crash pad" in Los Angeles. In one scene they roll their eyes at who call them "air hostesses," but reviewer Hank Steuver believes overall the show reinforces old stereotypes of "airheads" in the air. The New York Times Magazine focuses on fashion rather than hard work and safety, with a slide show of Delta uniforms over the last sixty year. For insight into the history of flight attendants, check out Kathleen Barry's Femininity in Flight. Barry traces the evolution of their glamorized image as ideal women and their activism as trade unionists and feminists, helping us to understand both the struggle of the British Airways crews, and our own nostalgia for the bygone era of beautiful young women in chic dresses.