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Fat of the matter

india Updated: Jan 06, 2009 22:17 IST

It’s clearly the shape of things to come. Air India (AI) has weighed in against 10 airhostesses who were found to have piled on a few extra pounds. Earlier, the airline had offloaded the women, grounding them as it were in the hope that this would have the desired downsizing effect. But when the decision to ground them was earlier challenged in court, AI quoted the rule book which stipulates down to the last ounce what makes the scale.

Now feminists and the politically correct may think that the airline has bitten off more than it can chew. But the truth is, would travellers feel comfortable if the flight attendant has to waddle down the aisle or is not quick on her feet in an emergency? And yes, there is the aesthetics of it. On a long-haul flight, do you really want to see more spare tyres than required on an airplane? A certain look goes with the territory. Would you invest in the shares of a company if you nipped by and saw that all the executives looked arterially challenged? The chances are that you would flee.

So in a competitive business like staying airborne, you are more at ease with the sleeker models, whether it is aircraft or staff. So, instead of going to court to fight the battle of the bulge, the ladies in question could just have leapt onto the nearest treadmill and worked up a sweat. Good for them, good for the airline. So next time you take wing, remember, the bottomline really is the waistline. And that’s a fat.