An airline lipstick ban is following a ban on nail polish, short dresses, low necklines, “platinum blond hair as well as certain shades of red dye.” The ban on lipstick in any bright color is the latest ban that Turkish Airlines, which is the fourth biggest airline carrier in Europe, has imposed on its female cabin crew members, reported Reuters via Yahoo! News on May 3, 2013.
Why so many bans?
According to Turkish Airlines, the lipstick ban, which bans flight crew members from wearing lipstick that comes in any bright colors, is supposed to keep airline flight crew members “artless and well-groomed.”
According to Turkish Airlines, “red, dark pink and similar colors of lipstick and nail polish that are not in the current uniforms breaks up visual coherence.”
And lastly, according to Turkish Airlines, the more natural look and visual consistency would improve the flight crew members’ communication with passengers.
A previous dress ban by Turkish Airlines removed red, dark pink, and other colors from cabin uniforms, lengthened hemlines, and moved up necklines. Last month, Turkish Airlines imposed a ban on alcohol on a majority of its domestic flights and eight of its international flights because there was low demand by passengers and because the host countries requested it.
Unlike most airlines which use a statement like “we” want to provide this or that service, Turkish Airlines argues that “they” want this or that.
Which is raising the question for many who “they” really is.
Turkish Airlines is 49% government owned. While Turkey is supposed to be a democratic, non-religious, unitary, and constitutional republic, it is also surrounded by eight countries including Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan, Iraq, and Syria.
Because of its history and geographical location, the vast majority of the country’s population is Muslim. While much of Turkey’s Muslim population and culture has become less traditionally confined, many are concerned that the recent bans on airline crew members are symbolic for a “creeping Islamization” of Turkey.
Asli Gokmen, one flight attendant, commented in the video report that “they are objecting to the lipstick and nail polish that we have been using for years.”
Since red is a prominent color on Turkish Airlines planes and on the Turkish flag, it appears that a ban on red lipstick and red nail polish might be reasonable cause to see – red.
Or as one Turkish Airlines passenger said before his flight, “I’ve never heard of a plane crashing because of a women’s lipstick.”