A Canadian beauty pageant queen who was recently offered a job as a flight attendant at Dubai-based Emirates, claims the airline revoked her job offer at the last minute after she disclosed that she had been hospitalized with an eating disorder in the past.
Madison Kvetlana, who was recently crowned Miss International Canada 2023, says she was ready to head to Dubai and had even been given the tickets for her flight to the United Arab Emirates when the job offer was rescinded.
“I am disgusted at what I just went through in the process of being hired to one of the greatest, most prestigious airlines out there,” Madison said in a TikTok video which was so far been viewed nearly 100,000 times.
“So, I recently went through the lengthy process of applying to the one and only Emirates. And [I] went through the process, I got hired, they were in the process of onboarding me, and everything was fine and dandy, I submitted all my documents, perfect easy peasy,” Madison explained.
“Then, they sent me this extremely detailed and intrusive health document that I had to submit [with] all this information on my personal health and a lot of things that had nothing to do with my ability to complete the job”
Madison has been very open about her own personal struggles with having an eating disorder and uses her social media presence to educate young people about mental health issues and eating disorders.
“One of the questions was ‘Have you ever struggled with an eating disorder?’, and as many of you may know, I am a pageant girl, and all of my philanthropy is about eating disorder awareness as I struggled in my youth with a very severe eating disorder that had me hospitalized for a little while and really, really change the course of my life,” Madison continued.
“But I’m now recovered well and empowering other young women to get through those dark times. So I wasn’t about to lie on this health document and say that I didn’t struggle with an eating disorder.”
“So, I indicated on the form that I did struggle with an eating disorder, and I’m recovered and well, and there’s nothing for them to be afraid of… I submit the documents.”
“Then I got an email a couple of days ago saying that I didn’t meet the precondition requirements and they are no longer onboarding me. And so, in that time, the only thing that changed was that I indicated that I struggle with an eating disorder.”
“I am disgusted that they are, I guess, discriminating against me for struggling with an eating disorder. It’s nothing to do with completing the job or being a flight attendant. I don’t understand why they would even ask an intrusive question like that.”
“But it just fuels my fire so much more that we need to be normalising struggling with mental health and eating disorders. I would’ve been an incredible addition to the team, and I know it, and they lost on that because I assumed on some stereotype of someone who struggles with an eating disorder. And that is so beyond not okay.”
In 2018, PYOK exclusively revealed that Emirates runs a secretive ‘appearance management programme’ that targets cabin crew that the airline deems to be overweight.
Emirates employs a squad of Uniform Standards Officers who monitor flight attendants to make sure they are complying with the airline’s stringent uniform and grooming rules. They also have the power to make crew undergo a weigh-in if they think the uniform is looking too snug.
Crew members who are found to be overweight will be grounded and ordered to lose weight within 30 days. Overweight crew members will be provided with an exercise and nutrition plan to help them achieve the look that Emirates deems acceptable.
Strict weight and appearance rules for flight attendants are commonplace at airlines across the Middle East and Asia, bit these standards can sometimes come as a shock to Western candidates who are hired by the likes of Emirates.
In the past, Emirates would conduct physical examinations of new hire cabin crew, but this practice was stopped several years ago.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.