The People’s Daily reports that graduates from a Quingdao-area school are encouraged to compete in a runway competition to net jobs as flight attendants or models.

The role of flight attendant is a highly coveted one for women in much of East Asia. It’s one of the few jobs that affords young women relative independence and a chance to see the world. For some, it’s a sort of post-college sabbatical before plunging into office work or other pursuits; for others, it’s a long-term career.

It’s also, unfortunately, a rampantly sexist industry.

Many airlines throughout Asia hire female flight attendants exclusively, and tacitly apply “attractiveness standards” in their hiring process. While becoming a flight attendant in Japan means a few weeks at a specialty training college and a battery of tests in which manners and overall “femininity” are measured, it appears at least a few flight attendant training agencies in China aren’t even bothering with such a rouse – instead a Quingdao area school’s graduate runway competition is used to select potential future flight attendants based on attractiveness alone. 

The yearly “auditions,” which are run by a local modeling agency, apparently feature around 1,000 recruits from the school. The audience is largely composed of modeling agency talent scouts, but it appears many contestants are more interested in the airline flight attendant scouts also in the audience.

Female contestants must meet various beauty criteria, including a height requirement (although, apparently, the agency in charge says especially beautiful contestants will get waived for height), and are not, supposedly, allowed to have any visible blemishes or scars on any areas of the body normally exposed by a swimsuit.

The year is currently 2016.

Source: The People’s Daily via The Independent