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Being a flight attendant can seem like a very glamorous occupation. You get to wear a fresh, clean uniform and travel all over the world. But like most jobs, getting involved isn’t as easy as filling out an application and getting a call back. Flight attendants undergo rigorous training and harsh conditions in order to be qualified to take to the skies. You might think that most of their training is focused on handing out snacks and pouring cups of soda, but food service is a tiny part of their training. Flight attendants on one airline spend more time learning kung fu than learning how to push beverage carts. The elite Iron Women of China might look like your average everyday flight attendants, but they have undergone extensive training in threat assessment, survival, and hand-to-hand combat. One airline located in Brazil requires its flight attendants to train in jungle survival skills, including completing a smoke-filled maze while locating a missing passenger. Your flight attendant may be fit enough to subdue an attacker, but they also have to be able to smile and show off perfect posture, which they go to great lengths to achieve. One training school has applicants practice smiling with chopsticks in their teeth, and wine bottles balanced on their head. They even learn how to crouch in their restrictive skirts without looking foolish which is no easy task! Then there are the requirements that just seem strangely nit picky, like how long your fingernails can be or what kind of lipstick you should be wearing.
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