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Turkish Airlines Bans Red Lipstick on Flight Attendants

Red lipstick doesn’t fly with Turkish Airlines. The European carrier has cracked down on cabin crew who wear red lipstick and nail polish, reports Reuters.

The reason? It doesn’t match, says Turkish. According to a statement from the airline, “As a consequence of our current cabin uniforms not including red, dark pink, et cetera, the use of lipstick and nail polish in these colors by our cabin crew impairs visual integrity.” Instead, attendants are encouraged to stick with makeup in softer pastel shades.

It’s not unusual for airlines to impose aesthetic restrictions on cabin crew. Asiana, for example, maintains a 10-page fashion rulebook that, among other things, prohibits its female flight attendants from wearing pants.

But some experts—as well as some Turkish Airlines flight attendants—are concerned that the carrier’s latest restrictions reflect Turkey’s political move toward conservative Islam. Atilay Aycin, president of the airline’s Hava-Is union, told Reuters, “This new guideline is totally down to Turkish Airlines management’s desire to shape the company to fit its own political and ideological stance. No one can deny that Turkey has become a more conservative, religious country.” Is the lipstick ban just a blitz within Turkey’s culture wars?

The airline has made other recent changes that suggest concurrence with politically conservative ideals. In February, Turkish announced that it would no longer serve alcohol on all flights. Also in February, The New York Times reported that Turkish proposed new, more modest uniforms, with skirts that fall below the knee and fez caps.

What do you think about the lipstick ban?

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(Photo: Flight Attendant via Shutterstock)

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