The answer is quite simple. The airlines consider them as a PR Product!
Yes most airlines have their requirements on filling positions for cabin crew. As a PR product, most people think of them as good looking and this is really an image created by the airlines. During the training, cabin crew go through training of grooming where they are taught how to look, what to wear, how to do their hair, how to wear makeup, how to walk, talk and behave. Have you noticed that flight attendants look good all the time? Before a flight and even after a long haul! Some airlines have what they call “checkers” where they check each crew member when they report in to go on a flight.
Is it such a bad thing for cabin crew to ‘look good’? Being well-groomed with a uniform shouldn’t be a bad thing. That doesn’t mean to be ‘good looking’ but rather to have a polished image, and has nothing to do with gender, age or sexuality. Nor does it have anything to do with traditional notions of beauty but simply a professional look with a pride for personal appearance. These are factors that most airlines consider to be really important. With a uniform everyone looks similar and in accordance with the airline’s brand.
During the early days of commercial aviation, passengers would only be served by male cabin crew. But, it did not take long before women started to take on the role and airlines started to use the image of their female flight attendants as a selling point in itself.
Perhaps it is something that should inspire us all that it doesn’t matter what age you are or what you naturally look like. Appearing well groomed and professional is ageless and genderless. Lookout for future articles on Cabin Crew and training!
Link to becoming a flight attendant in Malaysia