Last year, Indian Airlines reportedly sacked 140 staff without pay because the staff were “overweight”. Eleven sacked flight attendants have just lost their battle for compensation. The Delhi High Court has rejected the argument that the Airline’s decision was “unreasonable and demeaning”.
Judge Rekha Sharma of the Delhi High Court found that:
If the air hostesses are asked to battle their bulge…it is not understood how it is in any way unfair, unreasonable and insulting. If by perseverance the snails could reach the ark, why can’t these worthy ladies stand on and turn the scale?
Sheela Joshi, one of the flight attendants, says that her natural weight is 66-67kg and she can slim down to 63kg only by going on crash diets. I wonder if there’s any consideration of height? If Ms Joshi is my height, I don’t think 67kg would be an unreasonable weight, particularly if she has had children. She claims that the Airline is trying to get rid of older women and replace them with younger more attractive flight attendants. They argued the airline should take into account natural changes in women’s bodies between the ages of 35 and 58.
I once heard an Indian dancer say that “traditionally built” women were regarded as very attractive in India. But I think that has all changed with the explosion of super-skinny Bollywood stars.
This judgment seems all wrong to me. One doesn’t have to be skinny to be attractive. This is just another instance of women being forced to conform to a particular unrealistic body shape. I was disappointed to see that Judge Sharma is a woman. I wonder if she weighs less than 63kg? Really gives me the pip!