This advertisement was created by Kazakhstan’s Choco Travel flight company in 2017. In the advertisement, the flight attendants are not wearing the traditional flight attendant uniforms, as they are only covering their reproductive organs with hats (Mill, 2017).
As a female, I feel extremely uncomfortable watching this advertisement because of the problematic messages spread in it. First, the advertisement is sexually objectifying women, and it is expressing an oppressive idea which men can take advantages of the sexy female flight attendants. Thus, women are being dehumanized as objects of sexual desire. This is disrespectful because it ignores women’s professionalism and capacities. In addition, the smiling faces of the flight attendant females is a form of self-objectification because smiling is an overt behavior that indicates happiness. Thus, people must think the naked flight attendants are proud of being sexually objectified. All of these indicate gender inequality.
Second, this advertisement also implies racism. First, the flight attendants look attractive because they have sexy shape and are slim. Furthermore, most flight attendants are Caucasians, suggesting white supremacy. White supremacy is the superiority of the White over other races. In this advertisement, it is trying to convey that compared to other races, certain the white has the desired body shapes and are more beautiful so only they can be selected as flight attendants. This message is racial as it normalizes beauty standards. The normalization of beauty standards is harmful first it undermines the beauty of women of color. Second, it sets the standards for every woman to follow, and in order to meet those desired standards, women can go beyond the extremes, such as going cosmetic surgery and becoming anorexia nervosa. To end, I think this advertisement sexually objectifies women and is lacking inclusive about gender diversity and racial diversity.
I made this cultural jam with Photoshop. I thought adding clothes can shift the focus from the bodies to flight attendances’ professionalism and competence. Adding clothes can break white supremacy describes in the original advertisement. Aside from that, First, the new version includes female with different body shapes rather than a so-called perfect body, it indicates the body shape should not be a factor of being a flight attendant or not. Finally, I added a slogan, “you look more professional with your cloth on; you look more attractive when you have a healthy body shape” to reinforce women’s competence and women’s beauty.
Next, I added the four pictures into my jam for different messages. First, Sheila Fedrick, the first picture on the left, is used to highlight the bravery of women because she saved little young girls from sex trade (Rivard, 2017). Richard Charles, the picture next to Sheila Fedrick, is the founder of Virgin Group (Kane, 2013). In the picture, he dressed like a woman and is added to include people with special sexual interests. The male next to Richard Charles is a random male flight attendant to reinforce gender diversity. The female on the right is the first transgender flight attendants in the world (Skulpichetrat, 2011).
Adding the four pictures convoy many important messages. First, adding male, transgenders, and people of other sexual interests reinforce the ideas gender will not be a limiting factor for a job. Next, people should be treated based on their competence and abilities but not by genders. Adding pictures of different races reinforce the ideas that women of color are as powerful and beautiful as many white women, so this breaks racial stereotypes and reinforce a more positive idea. To reinforce the diversity idea, I change the company name “Choco flight” into “Diversity flight”. Second, adding Sheila Fedrick into the jam reinforce women’s bravery and power because she had done something that not even a man could do, which is to stop child sex trade. Her brave action strengthens the concept that a professional should do what is suppose to do; in the case of a flight attendant, it is to protect customers, not selling naked bodies. In the end, I added a subtitle of “You will be happier working in a diversity environment” to tie back to the main idea of the jam.
Kane, P. (2013, December 05). Photos: Richard Branson . . . flight attendant? Retrieved from http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Photos Richard Branson flight attendant/8377323/story.html
Mills, J. (2017, August 07). Travel company’s ‘sexist’ advert has not gone down well. Retrieved from https://metro.co.uk/2017/08/07/travel-company-releases-bizarre-sexist-advert-with-naked-air-hostesses-6834856/
Skulpichetrat, J. (2011, February 10). Thai airline recruits transgender flight attendants. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/oukoe-uk-thailand-transsexuals/thai-airline-recruits-transgender-flight-attendants-idUKTRE7193LV20110210
Rivard, N. (2017, February 04). Flight attendants train to spot human trafficking ahead of Super Bowl. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/airplane-mode/flight-attendants-train-spot-human-trafficking-n716181