Virgin Atlantic's female flight attendants no longer have to wear makeup to work

Virgin Atlantic air stewardesses training at a facility in Crawley, England
Mike Kemp | Corbis Historical | Getty Images

Virgin Atlantic has decided to ditch two of its outdated uniform policies for female flight attendants.

Now, women who work for the British airline can skip applying makeup before their shift and pants will become part of their standard uniform. 

Before the company's March 4 announcement, female flights attendants were required to wear cosmetics while working and had to specially request pants if they wanted a break from the signature red pencil skirt.

"Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work," Mark Anderson, Virgin Atlantic's executive vice president of customer, said in a statement, according to CNN.

The company further added that the move was a "significant change" in an industry where companies still typically dictate crew presentation and female staff are expected to spend a considerable amount of unpaid labor and cost on their appearance.

While low-cost carriers like easyJet and Ryanair have more relaxed rules regarding staff presentation, most full-service international airlines function as Virgin Atlantic used to, dictating what makeup can and should be worn. British Airways employees are instructed to wear lipstick and blush at a minimum, Emirates staff are encouraged to undergo a seven-step makeup routine, and United cabin crew are asked to avoid applying makeup in "extreme" colors, according to the DailyBeast.

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