Prudence Black: The Flight Attendant's Shoe

Reviewed by
December 2011–January 2012, no. 337

Prudence Black: The Flight Attendant's Shoe

Reviewed by
December 2011–January 2012, no. 337

Total demeanour

Susan Sheridan

 

The Flight Attendant’s Shoe
by Prudence Black
New South, $49.95 pb, 368 pp, 9781742232560

 

The international air hostess was the ultimate twentieth-century modern girl – mobile, cosmopolitan, glamorous. She was paid to travel around the world, journeys that, in the early years of intercontinental travel, could take several days and involve stopping at exotic places such as Singapore, Calcutta, Karachi, and Cairo on the ‘Kangaroo Route’ between Australia and London. She was, of course, a ‘girl’ (she had to resign from her job on marriage), she had to have a ‘good appearance and personality’, and her height and weight had to fall within narrowly defined limits. Her look had to match the glamorous mobility and cosmopolitanism that she signified. At the same time, her job was to look after people: she had to be easily identifiable as a staff member, and one belonging to a specific company. She had to wear a uniform – something anonymous that might seem to counteract the glamour of the job.

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.