Monday, 23 February 2009

Monday 23/2/09

Class warfare is still alive and well in the UK! I happened upon an advert in the Sunday Times Magazine for Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Premium Economy’ service. Ain’t Premium Economy a bit of an oxymoron? Good God – whatever next? Lower Middle Class Virgin train tickets?

The ad shows three smouldering hostesses in sexy, highly impractical scarlet outfits with purple scarves, resplendent in full war paint and a gash of bright red lipstick. The male flight attendant is in a dark suit with white shirt and purple tie and is very much sidelined in the ad.

While women are manifestly able to wear a veritable rainbow of colours and able, if built like the size 8 models in the ad, to carry off anything from a D&G outfit to a potato sack, the same cannot be said of men. We simply look stupid in purple ties, especially when the shirt collar is a size and a half too large, as it invariably is when worn by anyone under the age of 30 and in an advert. Purple is the colour most associated with ginger people, who seem to have a love affair with it, yet it suits them less than any other colour known to man – or woman. We all surely remember as school kids at the swimming pool seeing the ginger-headed girl in a purple swimming costume.

The ad went on to say that Virgin’s award-winning experience may have something to do with the extra legroom or enjoying a meal served on real crockery. So does that mean that I’m going to have to risk a crazed Taliban coming at me in a threatening manner with a shard of broken plate or one of the stewardess’ rather dangerous looking stilettos?

Just realised I’ve used three expressions for the same job – stewardess, air hostess and flight attendant. I think they are all in the right chronological order too. Is the way the name has changed over the years a sign of the times?

While visiting the boat on Saturday I called in on a good friend of mine, Chris, who is a photographer. He became a friend after I did a website for him about 6 years ago while between jobs. He’s winding down his business because unless you’re called Dominic and look like a 1980s estate agent, no-one is interested in using you for wedding photography, regardless of your skill with a camera. Skill no longer seems to be valued the way it was and to get commissions you have to have done some work for a bloody Coronation Street star or be capable of transforming a fat-armed pig of a bride into Aishwarya Rai in a manner which would have you sued by the Advertising Standards Agency if the images were to be used for marketing purposes.


  1. i wish we could see the ad. my ginger aunt used to work for Texas International (RIP) in the early 70s and I have photos of the shockingly short shorts and unbelieveably high boots they used to pumpkin orange no less. Purple might have been marginally less atrocious

  2. Cabin Crew is another one - when I was leaving school for Uni, a friend went for a job as an air hostess, as they were then; She was asked to take off her blouse and walk across the floor - She didn't and failed the interview - How times have changed - Plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme chose!

  3. Hay once worked as a trolly-dolly before moving into science.

    I remember once taking a Northwest flight from St Louis to Seattle. I was the only passenger and had 3 hostesses looking after me as if I was a king. Couldn't believe my luck.