new qantas uniform not fitting in
As of December 12 this year, 12,600 domestic and international Qantas flight attendants will be expected to don a new uniform. However, despite being endorsed by Miranda Kerr, the uniform has received a host of criticism and rejection from Qantas staff.
Kerr may have fulfilled her modeling duties, looking prim and polished as she modeled the new uniform on the catwalk for its unveiling, but Qantas crewmembers, the majority of whom are women, are not impressed. Some have complained that the new tight-fitting uniform only really looks good on Miranda Kerr and does not suit all body types. A staff member explained that ‘hosties range in age from their twenties to their sixties and a lot of the older ones don’t want to wear tight fitting uniforms. The uniforms are really tight and they are simply not practical for the very physical job we have to do.’
However, a spokesperson for Qantas begs to differ, claiming that a panel of crewmembers had direct input into the creation of the uniform and that the uniform had been trialed by up to 75 members of staff to positive reception. She claimed that ‘the feedback we’ve had from staff on the new uniform has been overwhelmingly positive. There are bound to be some adjustments needed as we roll out multiple pieces to 12,000 people, but it’s been going very smoothly and there’s a lot of excitement.’
The complaints voiced by the Qantas staff are not surprising. Staff in any industry will always be different from one another and will always be either more or less confident in their bodies. To place an expectation upon a whole team to be able to wear a new uniform that is tight-fitting and more geared towards aesthetics than practicality, will only raise the voice of recognition for individuality.
Qantas staff might not go so far as to say they feel exploited by the uniforms, but they certainly are voicing concerns about having to fit into a ‘mold’. Uniforms are implemented to show collectivity and should be versatile and wearable by as many different individuals that make up a collective. Not everyone is happy to flaunt their bodies or is comfortable with wearing clothing that accentuates their figure. Having the body of Miranda Kerr should not be a job requirement for female crewmembers, whose main roles are to ensure a safe, happy and comfortable flight for their passengers.