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31 Crazy-Strict Uniform and Grooming Standards Flight Attendants Have to Deal With

Cosmopolitan logo Cosmopolitan 6/1/2016 Kate Beckman

Flight attendants are known for always looking put together. But their standards are way stricter than putting on lipstick and tucking in their shirts. From restrictions on body hair to nail color and even to eating in public, flight attendants have to deal with some pretty crazy rules and regulations. Cosmopolitan.com tracked down the requirements some airlines have for prospective flight attendants to even apply, and the appearance-standard handbooks of different airlines once they get the job. Here are some of the strictest, most intense, and most weirdly specific rules:

31 Crazy-Strict Uniform and Grooming Standards Flight Attendants Have to Deal With © Getty 31 Crazy-Strict Uniform and Grooming Standards Flight Attendants Have to Deal With

When Applying for the Job

1. "Physical features: Pleasing personality, clear complexion (scars, pimples and blemishes not acceptable) and good eyesight" -Jet Airways

2. "Arm reach of 212 cm [83 inches] while standing on tiptoes" -Emirates

3. "At least 2 years of customer or community service experience required" -Alaska Airlines

4. "Tattoos on the feet are not permitted, as they cannot be concealed. All shoes must be of the classic court style, which leaves the top and side of the foot exposed. The maximum permitted hosiery density is 15 denier and does not cover up tattoos." -British Airways

5. "We require applicants to be free of all nicotine use for at least 6 months prior to submitting an application." -Alaska Airlines

6. "Between 5'2 (1.57m) and 6'2 (1.88m) in height with weight in proportion" -Ryan Air

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7. "A tongue piercing is not permitted. You will be required to remove any items from your tongue for training and duty." -British Airways

8. "Tattoos are not permitted on wrists. Watches must be of a discreet design with either a small silver or gold metal bracelet, or brown/black leather strap." -British Airways

9. "Marital Status: Unmarried" -Jet Airways (Note: The unmarried status is only a standard for "inexperienced" crew; people applying as "experienced" cabin crew can be married.)

© Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg

10. "Must successfully pass a functional assessment - must be able to lift 50 pounds from floor to waist and 22 pounds overhead" -WestJet

11. "BMI - Body Mass Index is used to calculate weight - one's body weight in kilograms is divided by the square of one's body height in meters: BMI = body weight (kg) divided by square of height (m). BMI = 19–24.9 is considered satisfactory" -Czech Airlines

(Context: Someone who is 5-foot-3 and 145 pounds would have a BMI of 25.7, so would not meet the requirements. Czech Airlines' page reads, "Your weight and height are recorded in order to see that you comply with the requirements." So if your BMI falls out of that range, you're out of luck.) 

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Once You Get the Job

12. "A total of four rings may be worn, with no more than two on each hand." -United Airlines

13. "Hands and nails should be kept well groomed at all times, with nail length not exceeding an eighth of an inch beyond the finger tip." -Hawaiian Airlines

14. "Don't wear accessories that clash with your uniform." -JetBlue

Female flight attendant putting on earring in cabin of private jet © Raphye Alexius/Image Source/Getty Images Female flight attendant putting on earring in cabin of private jet

15. "Lipstick or gloss are required and should complement the facial features. Lip liner should be used in moderation" -Allegiant Air

16. "Noticeable hair in nostrils and in/on ears or underarms must be cut or otherwise removed." -American Airlines

17. "Teeth should present a clean, natural appearance. Employees must have a full frontal complement of teeth. Dental retainers must be gum toned or clear. Braces should be clear or silver." -American Airlines

18. "Whilst in Uniform, staff members must not: slouch, cross or fold arms; walk or stand with hands in pockets." -Regional Express Pty Limited

19. "Unacceptable hairstyles include, but are not limited to, extreme or unnatural colors (e.g., pink, purple), top-knots, dreadlocks, cornrows and Mohawks." -Hawaiian Airlines 

20. "Length [of skirt] may not exceed 1 inch above or 1 inch below the crease of the back of the knee." -United Airlines

© Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

21. "Don't tie your sweater around your waist; it can be worn around your shoulders." -JetBlue

22. "Good oral hygiene should be practiced to ensure that the teeth present a clean, natural appearance. Breath sprays and mints are encouraged. No oral jewelry is allowed to be worn while in uniform." -Allegiant Air

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Stewardess and passengers in business class airplane cabin, smiling © Westend61/Getty Images Stewardess and passengers in business class airplane cabin, smiling

23. "Hoop earrings are permitted and may be no larger than 1½ inches in diameter and/or ½ inch wide on the surface." -Hawaiian Airlines

24. "Makeup should be freshened as necessary, but never in view of the customer." -American Airlines

25. "Mustaches may not extend more than ¼ inch below the sides of the mouth." -United Airlines

26. "[For men] Trendy facial hair styles are not permitted (e.g., small patch of hair growing below lower lip)." -United Airlines

27. "Males may not wear earrings or studs in ears while on duty or anytime while in uniform." -Allegiant Air

28. "[Fingernails] May be no longer than ½ inch measured from the fingertip and should be even in length and shape." -United Airlines

29. "Male flight attendants may not wear make-up." -United Airlines

30. "Hairstyles may not be more than three inches in fullness and may not wave or curl outward to extreme volume." -American Airlines

31. "When leaning forward, restrained hair should remain neat and off the face. A single ponytail may be secured behind the ears and centered on the back of the head. The ponytail should be no higher than the tops of the ears and no longer than the tops of the shoulders." -JetBlue

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