The Secret To Success: Good Grooming

ABC’s “Pan Am” TV show isn’t just bringing the airline back, it’s also bringing workplace-sexy back.

| September 30th, 2011
Pan Am

In the golden age of jetting, Pan Am stewardesses were admired for their beauty and their equally glamorous career.

Now, nearly fifty years later, ABC’s new Sunday night show “Pan Am” is taking off! With stars like Christina Ricci donning the infamous blue suits, hats, and white gloves, the idyllic era of polished style and career girl chic is getting another glossy moment.

ABCChristina Ricci in "Pan Am"
Christina Ricci

In real life, it was no easy task to land the coveted job with Pan Am. Only one in one hundred applicants were chosen to join the elite team and Ms. Ricci herself wouldn’t have made the cut due to the height restriction. In addition to speaking a foreign language, you had to be over 21, over 5’3” (Ricci is 5'1"), have short bobbed hair, be slim (for example, between 116 an 128 lbs. if you were 5’5”), and most importantly, be unmarried. No doubt that last detail will spice up the new television shows plotlines.

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The result of all the strict guidelines made the Pan Am name synonymous with an image of an almost fantastical bevy of proud, perfectly coiffed flight attendants strutting their way across the world.

While we ladies can thank our lucky stars that now we can have careers free from the rigourous appearance standards, there is something to be said for looking polished with your clothes, hair and makeup if you want to get ahead. 

The thought of wearing a girdle every day and having to weigh in like the late airline’s stewardesses seems ridiculous to we modern gals, but science supports the old adage: “Dress for success.” How you look, from head to toe, can make a huge impact on your career today.

Amy Blackstone, a sociologist at the University of Maine, reminds us that, “Research shows that ‘more attractive’ people are likely to receive favorable treatment in the workplace.”

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