Singapore Girl is a consistent visual advertising slogan applied to depictions of stewardesses of Singapore Airlines (SIA) dressed in the distinctive “Sarong Kebaya” SIA uniform since 1972 and remains a prominent element of SIA’s marketing.
As part of efforts to build the image of the “Singapore Girl”, the airline runs a rigorous training program for cabin and flight crew. The airline’s repute, and the resulting prestige of the job has allowed it to be highly selective during its recruitment process as it receives numerous applications locally and from around the region. Singapore Airlines used to recruit only Singaporeans and Malaysians as cabin crew, but since 1995, in line with its global expansion, recruitment extended to other countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan to minimise language barriers between cabin crew and travellers.
About 10% of applicants of each recruitment drive are successful and sent for training on their first steps to becoming a “Singapore Girl”.
Some of the strict rules and regulations for the crew from head to toe include:
- The airline requires stewardesses and stewards to color their hair black or dark brown. Stewardesses or stewards cannot use highlights.
- Stewardesses with long hair are to coil it into buns or French twists.
- Stewards are to sport short hair above their collar lines and sideburns no longer than the ear lobes. Fringes cannot touch their eyebrows.
- Eyebrows must be shaped, and cannot be fake, be it drawn-on or tattooed.
- Eye shadow must be of the colour prescribed by the company - either blue or brown, depending on skin tone.
- No fanciful, dangling earrings allowed; only studs or pearls.
- Lipstick colour must be among the few shades of bright red prescribed by the company. Pink or plum shades are forbidden.
- No chains and necklaces allowed.
- Only simple bracelets and rings can be worn. Only small and simple watches can be worn.
- A spare kebaya must be brought for every flight, including short, one-hour flights.
- Nail polish must be of the bright red colour prescribed by the company. Nails should not be chipped.
- Toenails must be of the bright red colour prescribed by the company. If toenails are unpainted, stockings must be worn as a substitute.
- Safety shoes or covered sandals must be worn during take-off and landing. At other times, stewardesses should wear their batik slippers.