an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Vintage Friday: The Air Strip

Posted by Rosepixie on February 5, 2010

This is a commercial from Braniff Airlines (I don’t have a date, but the uniforms date from the 1960s, so it has to have been from sometime that decade).

This is a pretty offensive commercial, once you get past how ridiculous the whole thing is.  First of all, the idea that the flight attendant is “stripping” for you throughout the flight is pretty horrifying and creepy.  Second of all, there is so much wrong, even for the time period, with the line “Braniff International … believes that even an airline hostess should look like a girl.”  Even in a profession populated entirely by women, it’s rather disgusting to say that unless they dress like that they wouldn’t look like “girls”.  Not to mention that saying that while PUTTING ON A STRIP SHOW (even one with no actual nakedness) has all kinds of overtones.  It suggests that to look like a girl, one must be a sex object, on display with no voice.  It also suggests that looking like a girl either means dressing a certain way or being sexy enough to pull off the sex object act (or both), but probably has little to do with actually being a girl, since many real girls likely won’t qualify.

And, yes, I’m well aware that there were other things equally bad or worse from the same time period, but that doesn’t excuse this.  This also came out around the same time as The Feminine Mystique and some serious and very vocal movements opposite to it.  It doesn’t get a pass just for coming out in the 1960s.  That’s not how it works.


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