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TWA flight attendants speak out about the ‘humiliating’ sexist policy: “The supervisor could actually squeeze your a–‘

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Mary Joyce Bochroch was a college sophomore, who has her own boyfriend, when she crossed paths with the woman that changed everything.

“I was all set and registered for the substructure of the year,” Bochroch, now 74, tells The Post. Then, “I met this beautiful young lady, who had flown for TWA.”

The small town girl, who grew up in Allentown, Pa., was blinded by the idea of air travel, and applied to be a TWA stewardess itself. When she received the offer of a job in 1965, she broke off with her boyfriend and quit school. “I’m sure glad I’m not married,” she says. “Instead, I have to see the world.”

Today, in the age of thigh-squishing seats, crowded cabins, and endless delays, it is easy to glorify the past days of flying. If the just-opened — and highly romanticized — TWA Hotel JFK Airport, turns out later throws the good old days of travelling by plane with a tight and “Mad Man”-like shine.

DRUNK AEROFLOT PASSENGER ALLEGEDLY BROKE FLIGHT ATTENDANT’S LEG

Although the former flight attendants don’t forget great things about task — free of charge travel top among them there were also very chauvinistic costs, which they are not expected.
(iStock)

That is partly true, in time, also For a highly educated young woman in the 1960s, the life of a flight attendant — or stewardess, as the job was called back then — offered a seemingly glamorous alternative for other, mostly female performances, such as teaching or answering phones at an office. At the time that the idea of taking an airplane was exciting, with the four largest airlines, United, American, Eastern and TWA, are working hard to ensure that their flights felt swank and cosmopolitan.
But behind the scenes, things were not so shiny.

Although the former flight attendants don’t forget great things about task — free of charge travel top among them there were also very chauvinistic costs, which they are not expected.

“They could fire you in those days for having a pimple,” says Marilyn Detels, who started working for TWA in 1966, at the age of 24. One of the first things she remembers from the job was a fellow trainee to be sent home, because they do not meet the strict grooming standards. “The last week [of training], they fired her because she broke out in a rash on her face,” she says.

The 77-year-old, who lives on the Upper East Side, tells how the company monitors the female workers figures.

“If you were overweight, you had to be invited to the office, and on the scale. You have a certain amount of time to lose [weight], like three weeks or something like that.”

It was “humiliating,” Bochroch says to know that their bodies were so heavily controlled by their employers.

This form of monitoring is standard on the other side of the large airlines, according to the book “Femininity in Flight: A History of flight Attendants” (Duke University Press Books). Author Kathleen M. Barry writes that “even the flight attendants appeared to be slim enough were subjected to regular weigh-ins on most carriers.”

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That is because these ladies had more than one role in those days, Barry explains. (TWA) made the man to be flight attendants, just like a number of other companies, but they were very much in the minority.) They had obvious tasks, such as explaining the safety procedures, the pouring of drinks, and the supply of food to the passengers. But they were also necessary to the embodiment of the brand, the ideals, by the attractive, well-maintained and cheerful.

Lemer, 79, recalls that when she first started working for the carrier, the rules are extended even further than the way they looked. For many years, when a young woman signed up to be a TWA flight attendant, she agreed to a contract stating that they retire at the age of 35 or when they got married — which was there the first time.
(Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Appearances meant so much that the airlines all battled for the top names in fashion to the design of the in-flight uniforms. In its heyday, TWA snagged Oleg Cassini, Pierre Balmain and Ralph Lauren.

Detels says that everything from her hairstyle to her make-up was strictly regulated, down to the shade of the lipstick. “We used to wear Revlon Persian Melon,” she says. “We had to wear lipstick and nail Polish.”

A good belt, for curve control, was also required.

“They would check you out that you had to deal with a belt,” Detels says.

Emily Lemer, who graduated from Ohio State in 1962 and got a job with TWA that same year, says these “checks” was not treated with a delicate.

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“The supervisor could actually squeeze in your ass,” she tells The Post.

Lemer, 79, recalls that when she first started working for the carrier, the rules are extended even further than the way they looked. For many years, when a young woman signed up to be a TWA flight attendant, she agreed to a contract stating that they retire at the age of 35 or when they got married — which was there the first time. Male stewards, on the other hand can fly in their 60s.

Read the full article on the New York Post.

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