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Philippines: Dancing flight attendants

A plane flight safety demonstration danced to pop tunes by the flight attendants of a Philippine-based commercial airline is a recent a hit on YouTube.

According to an airline official, the dancing of the safety procedure demonstration is simply one way of combining service and entertainment.

“The safety demo dance rendition is just another way to bring out our fun culture and showcase our homegrown talents. We plan to roll this out onto more flights after receiving great commendations from the global public.”

Cebu Pacific is a budget carrier in the Philippines which dominates the local airline industry.

An association of flight attendants and stewards, however, is alarmed by the gimmick and the spread of the video on the net.

While it may look like a harmless publicity stunt to attract passengers at first glance, in the long run the stereotyping of flight attendants as entertainers will surely have a negative and sexist impact in the minds of the public, at the expense of the unwitting female-dancer-flight attendants.

This gender insensitive packaging is a throwback to the unenlightened past during the 50s and 60s when “stewardesses” were made to wear hot pants and mini-skirts to appeal to the dominantly male business travelers. To make them dance in front of passengers takes this mind-set to new lows.

As of this writing, the video already have 6,866,006 views, 13,720 likes, and 529 dislikes since its uploading on September 30. It also attained a variety of YouTube honors, according to Techpinas.

The video has elicited both positive and negative comments in Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. Many lauded the dancing flight attendants for making safety demos less boring. The video's detractors, however, condemn the practice for espousing sexism and gender discrimination. A sample of some comments on Facebook:

Samuel Raterta i like it. passengers became more attentive to the safety features of the aircraft. also they only danced at the start not the whole flight.
Prince Valdez lets face it sex sells…
Tine Sabillo Sex sells because we tolerate such cheap sexist marketing schemes. And yes, there are a lot of not-so-young PAL FAs. They've been fighting for equality. They are safety professionals after all. This is not some beauty or talent contest. People will still ride airplanes even if the FAs aren't that “hot” or “pretty” because travel is a necessity. No to gender and age discrimination at work.
Mabel Balanquit what the fuss about it. its a nice strategy. its entertaining :)
Rey Refran ‎”throwback to the unenlightened past during the 50s and 60s when “stewardesses” were made to wear hot pants and mini-skirts to appeal to the dominantly male business travelers.” < — I see a disturbing parallelism here with the resurgence of McCarthyism in the Philippines, eh?

Thumbnail is from the Flickr page of georgeparrilla used under CC License Attribution 2.0 Generic

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