A Beauty Salon For Stewardesses

And now for something completely different… That sentence primes you for a comical topic, but that isn’t really the case. Then again, the way the topic was dealt with in 1948 is quite comical. But also quite painful. Whatever the case may be, it’s a story I’d like to share with you. The editor of Wolkenridder in 1948 didn’t feel quite comfortable with it. Here’s the story about A beauty salon for stewardesses.

Aesthetic standards

Almost 67 years ago, when Schiphol’s latest renovation project was nearing completion, a beauty salon specifically for stewardesses opened at the airport. In addition to a knowledge of products, destinations, languages, safety and aircraft technology, stewards and stewardesses were expected to meet certain aesthetic standards. This topic was dealt with in the Wolkenridder of 21 August 1948, but the editor went about it in a rather odd way.

KLM535773 (1)

His article (I’m pretty sure it was a man) gives an eye-witness account of the action taking place in the beauty salon on the first floor of the Croydon Hangar. “Our hostess showed us all the equipment and the many flacons containing colourful lotions. There was booth with a tanning lamp and what we thought was an operating table, upon which a living being had been laid out. The motionless eyes in the deathly white face stared up at the ceiling. Was this a place of torture?”

Face Mask

Of course that was not the case. The lady in question was getting a face mask. Our editor clearly thought it was all very mysterious. I should add that the lotions and other cosmetics of the day were all from Elisabeth Arden, who was then one of the leading manufacturers. Arden was Canadian and the beauty institute she opened with a partner in the United States in 1909 went on to become an empire that exists to this day.

1954 ong lessen in schoonheidsverz bij Elisabeth Arden

It isn’t quite clear when exactly the Schiphol beauty salon closed down, but this facility certainly isn’t available at the Crew Centre nowadays.

The other photo dates from 1958, ten years later, and was taken at the Elisabeth Arden beauty salon in The Hague. In these years trainee stewardesses were given a treatment and trained in beauty care.

“women too cannot escape these modern times.”

Which brings us back to the article from 1948, which opens with the bold statement that “women too cannot escape these modern times.” Further on in the piece, the editor refuses to leap to any conclusions, saying: “When women donned trousers for the first time, some ladies publically voiced their objections, saying that women should remain women. […] But are modern women any less feminine? Let’s not risk any hasty opinions on this topic.”

1965 ong KLM stewardess

Emancipation was clearly not a topic that the editor felt comfortable with. He strung together cliché upon cliché. If he had known that stewardesses today would also have the option of wearing pants under their uniform, I’m sure he would have expressed his views with greater care.

Posted by:   Frido Ogier  | 
Join the conversation Show comments


I love the articles that are published here. They offer a fascinating insight into the present-day KLM and, like this article, the KLM of days gone by. And they’re always beautifully written.

Thanks, from a very appreciative customer.

Frido Ogier

Thanks Mark! Very appreciated.

Best regards,


Sasja van Rijsewijk

I love this blog about the beauty salon for stewardessess! So funny! Those were the good old days…

Frido Ogier

Dankjewel Sasja, ik vond het ook wel een bijzonder verhaal toen ik het ontdekte. En ja, dat wilde ik de lezers natuurlijk niet onthouden!




No me canso de leer éstos artículos tan divertidos! Y en cierta forma nos aporta algo de historia en nuestra aviación! Me alegra mucho cuando encuentro email de KLM! Me Diviértete su página? Gracias! Los amoo!

Napitupulu Chandra

may I license sign in airlines KLM with Lenteng Agung Jakarta Selatan, thanks.


I love it! Thanks for this excellent article of the beauty salon for stewardesses! Great time, Great days…

Frido Ogier

Thanks Rose!

Best regards,


Mrs T,Peeters

Dear KLM Team .

At that time .The life , [ living ] was easyer . Nice to see this picture ,

A silence moment . for woman . Good luck for the future.

Love MRs T Peeters .

Lolita M. Balboa

Nice to read articles about KLM salon for stewardesses.
You know, in one of my flights from Manila to AMS – i came acrosed one of your happiest stewardesses. She always have good and cheerrful disposition and her favorite line whenever you request for something is “THERE YOU ARE! I forgot her name but she’s very good. Looking forward in meeting her again.

Lolita M. Balboa

Nice to read articles about KLM salon for stewardesses.
You know, in one of my flights from Manila to Amsterdam – i came acrossed one of your happiest stewardesses. She always have a good and cheerful disposition and her favorite line whenever you request for something is “THERE YOU ARE! I forgot her name but she’s very good. Looking forward in meeting her again.

Frido Ogier

Dear Lolita,

Thanks for your always nice comments. I do hope that you will meet this stewardess again, it’s always a pleasure to feel welcome on board.

Best regards,



I flew from 69-74. No make-up lessons. We looked and still look naturally. There are still airlines who do this and even give lessons how to smile! KLM for me the best airline to fly with. Still have a blue hart.

Frido Ogier

Dear Annette, you’re quite right! I think that when one has a blue heart, this will last :-)

Kind regards,


Beauty Cosmetic

this is nice and informative blog in to providing information about the salon. Now a days very much products are in the market so we have to know some information about the beauty products like face mask and all that. so its kind of knowledge which is in the blog if you want to get beauty salon services then visit at http://www.beautycosmetic.ca/.

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It’s a nice content.

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