Leggings on Planes: A Flight Attendant's Perspective

Over the past few days we've all seen this story blowing up all over the internet. 
Girls boarding a plane in Denver were asked to change their clothes at the discretion of a Gate Agent who felt that leggings didn't fit the parameters for appropriate attire. 

Well. I have some thoughts on the issue. 

In this particular situation, the girls were "pass riders" or as we call them where I'm from, "non-revs". They were flying using the work benefits of a family member or a friend who works for the airline. Non-revs have specific attire requirements that they have to comply with in order to utilize their flight privileges. 
Non-revs need to follow the parameters outlined by the airline they're benefitting from. That's totally fair.


This conversation is about more than just leggings on planes. 
It's about how we view female bodies as sexual objects. 
It's also about how we, as a society, determine what is or is not "appropriate". 

Here's what it boils down to for me:

1. The clothing you choose to wear sends a message to the people around you about who you are. 

If you've paid for your ticket on a plane you can send whatever message you want to because you're only representing yourself. 
If you're traveling for business or in another specific capacity you might need to dress differently. 

When I put on clothes to leave the house, I am making a conscious choice about how I want to be perceived that day. 
Generally, I want people to glance my way and assume I'm a competent and polished person. I wear makeup. I comb my hair. My clothing style is mostly classic and sometimes kind of androgynous. It could most kindly be called "High WASP via Vermont".

People will always misunderstand you. There will always be people who misinterpret what you say or what you write, or how you present yourself in public. It's up to you to determine how that's going to affect what you do. 

2. All leggings are not the same. 

I have no problem with leggings being worn as pants as long as they are completely opaque. I'm also aware that there are some people who don't feel the same way and when I leave the house wearing leggings as pants, I might encounter pushback. 
That might mean judgmental looks, or that might mean having a discussion about the validity of leggings as appropriate attire for non-revving. 

I don't believe that see-through clothing is ever appropriate on an airplane. 
I don't care who you are, I don't care what you're doing, an airplane is not the place to be provocative or push buttons. It's a place to be polite and to focus on safety. 
If it would have more than a PG rating in a movie theatre, it doesn't belong on a plane. 
I once had a situation where a passenger was wearing a shirt with a certain curse word all over it, and I had to work with the Gate Agent and the Captain to have her change into something that wasn't R rated. I wasn't personally offended by her shirt, but as a Flight Attendant it's my job to help make sure that passengers on my plane are treated with respect by the crew and also by their fellow passengers.  By wearing something so decidedly provocative in a public space, the woman who needed to change was not being respectful toward the people around her.
It's especially important to be courteous to those around you in public when you're on an airplane because it's a high stress situation for many people. 

When you're not on a plane, wear whatever you want to, friend. You do you. Just be aware of the message that you're sending. 

3. This topic is tricky because of how our society treats women as sexual objects. 

Objectification is simple: it's treating a person as a thing rather than as a human being. 
Sexual objectification is a huge and grossly complex issue that I don't really want to dive too deeply into, because I do not have a degree in Gender Studies or Psychology. 

I will say though, I am so sick of people debating whether or not it's appropriate for women to wear leggings in public because of the effect that leggings might have on men. 

Dudes, get ahold of yourselves. Your self control is not my responsibility. 

In the meantime, ladies, wear those leggings in whatever way you are most comfortable. Rock your outfits while flying. 

But whatever you wear, please keep consideration and respect in mind when you're deciding what to wear in public, especially on an airplane. 

Tuesday Top Three: Lip Stuff

I am a lipstick girl. 

 Lipstick is such a simple way of looking put together- like you're a polished person who can get things done. Lip stains are GLORIOUS if you want to avoid constant retouching, and obviously lip balms are necessary for LIFE.

I occasionally get cold sores that look like terrible blisters on my upper lip. They're unattractive, painful, and hugely embarrassing. I try to avoid an outbreak at all costs, so I rely on medicated lip balms in conjunction with my lipsticks and stains.

Right now there are three products that I turn to constantly. 

My Current Top Three Favorite Lip Products:

For many years, I was a devoted user of Burt's Bees Clove Oil Lip Balm. It was moisturizing and it helped me keep my occasional cold sore outbreaks in check. They tragically stopped making it a couple of years ago, and when I finally found this little gem I was over the moon. This lip balm smells delightfully herbal, it glides on beautifully, and it's very moisturizing. I keep a tube in my pocket or my bag at all times. 

2. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Fig
This lipstick is the most perfect neutral shade of pink! On days when I want to look put together but I want to keep the lips toned down, this is my go-to. It's a lovely color but I also love that all Bite Beauty products are made from food grade ingredients. 

3. Sephora Collection Creme Lip Stain in Always Red

This stain is the perfect red and it does. not. quit. 
It's the ultimate Flight Attendant lipstick. No matter what happens during my workday, I know that my lipstick will look flawless from van time to debrief when I've got this on. 

Beauty on a Budget

Until I was about 19, makeup was a slightly terrifying and impenetrable mystery. 
Outside of my stage experience for musical theatre and Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen, I didn't really wear makeup and I was pretty intimidated by it. 
My mom isn't much of a makeup person, so most of what I've learned has been from professional makeup artists, YouTube tutorials, and backstage at pageants. 

These days, I have a makeup routine that has been honed by experience and trial and error.

I'm a high points roller at both Sephora and Ulta, but as a Reserve Flight Attendant I don't always have the cash to buy all of the products I'd like to.  #reservelifeprobs

Plus, sometimes you get stuck somewhere and you have to make it work with whatever you can scrounge up at your local drug store.

Here are short and sweet makeup reviews for my current Top Three Budget Beauty Favorites:

1. Sonia Kashuk Tinted Brow Gel for Target

As someone with SUPER blonde (i.e. invisible) eyebrows, I compulsively color them in every single day, even if I'm not putting any other makeup on. Using a tinted brow gel has made a world of difference for me. I picked this up at Target because I was out of my usual brow gel, and I have to say I've been very pleased. The spool is a little bit too large, but after using it once I got the hang of it. I've found the taupe color works really well for my coloring- it doesn't look to brown, and it's not too light. I'm not sure that it's actually a universal color, but it does work well for my blondie purposes.

2. Revlon Colorstay Eye Liner 

I've been using this eyeliner for years and years. I've tried gels, liquids, and other pencils, but this one is what I come back to again and again. It's inexpensive, doesn't budge once you put it on, and has a built in sharpener. 

3. Ulta Twisted Volume Mascara

I bought this the other day on a complete whim. I needed a new mascara because my others were well past when they should have been thrown out, and this one was $11. 
I'm so glad I tried it! 
I've been delighted by the volume that it gives my lashes, the minimal clumping, and the staying power. Plus, the wand has a clicky turny thing in the top that lets you adjust how much twist there is in the brush. It's kind of fun to play with and there is definitely a difference in the volume between setting 1 and setting 4. The difference isn't insanely dramatic, but it exists. 

So those are my current fave beauty budget buys!
Let me know if you've tried them, or how they work out if you give them a whirl.

Red Lipstick Resistance

It's no secret that I'm a pretty political person. 

But the truth is that I kind of hate politics.
I don't like playing games. 
I want to find straightforward solutions to problems so that we can help people. 

But I've learned over the past 16 years of my involvement in politics that problem solving isn't always as simple as we'd like it to be. 
Real and lasting change is complicated and it takes time. 
Real change is never simple, and it's never easy. 

You also probably know that I'm an outspoken feminist. I mean, it's literally in all of my social media profiles. 
I don't pretend to be an expert on every issue, but the question of gender equality and fairness is the cause that has set my heart on fire for my entire life.
I wrote my first letter to the editor of our local paper when I was ten years old, complaining about sexism and gender stereotypes in a column. 
My mom didn't coach me to do it. 
(Frankly, she's still a little baffled as to how she managed to produce me.)
She just gave me the tools to express the outrage that I felt, which involved a handwritten letter faxed in to our local newspaper.

For me, feminism and femininity go together like wine and ice cream.
I love them both and they make my life better when I embrace them responsibly.

The "classic Flight Attendant" look is hyper feminine, and of course involves those signature red lips. 
I've been into bold lipstick for as long as I've been seriously into makeup. 
I won Miss Vermont in a bright red dress with bright red lips. 
Bold lipstick has been my signature move for my entire adult life. 

Today is the International Women's Strike/ A Day Without A Woman.

I already have the day off from my paid job, but I'm also going to be spending the day striking from as much unpaid work as possible. For example, I'm going to let my boyfriend lean in and take care of the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, but I'm still going to take care of the puppy while he's at work. She's a living baby creature who needs care. I can't strike from THAT. 

As a union member, I proud of the connections that today has to the labor movement. 

My favorite thing I'll be doing today is wearing red lipstick.

A lot of people struggle with the idea that this symbol of femininity has feminist origins, but it sure DOES. 
It's also been a way that strong women express their bold power throughout modern history. 

A quick synopsis:
Suffragettes defiantly wore red lipstick when they marched in the streets for the right to vote.
Rosie the Riveter wore red lipstick when she built our way to allied victory during WWII.
Hitler hated women wearing lipstick. 

So fight back against misogyny, sexism, and Hitler, everybody. 
Wear red in whatever form makes your heart glad, and stand in solidarity for equality.