British Airways will allow male pilots to dress as women with makeup and handbags in a tremendous overhaul of the existing uniform rules.
Reportedly, airline bosses wrote in an internal memo yesterday, "Be bold, be proud and be yourself." They hoped the new guidance would be "embraced by everyone regardless of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, background, culture, sexual identity or otherwise."
British Airways announced the gender-neutral initiative, rejecting its long-standing uniform policies, in the wake of competitor Virgin Atlantic's announcements that its traditional male and female uniforms would be gender-neutral.
British Airways' guidelines initially were divided by gender, but the airline has tried to modernize its image by dropping the "ladies and gentlemen" announcement to make "all customers feel welcome."
Male pilots and cabin crew at the airline now can wear a "touch of mascara and lip color," false eyelashes and painted nails.
The strict rules surrounding hairstyle were also eased. Men can now have hair buns.
A British Airways spokesperson told MailOnline, "We are proud of our colleagues at British Airways, and we are committed to an inclusive working environment.
"We have worked with our people to create updated guidelines for grooming, beauty and accessories, allowing colleagues to bring the best, most authentic version of themselves to work every day."
The airline decided to maintain its ban on visible tattoos. Unlike Virgin Atlantic, it will not make any changes to its physical uniforms, maintaining male- and female-specific ones.
Virgin Atlantic pilots may choose the uniform of their choice — red or burgundy — regardless of gender. Men can also wear skirts and women can wear trousers.
Virgin Atlantic will also be introducing pronoun badges.
The airline teamed up with "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Michelle Visage to make the company "reflect the diversity of its workforce" and "offer people a fluid approach to its red and burgundy uniform."
The company is striving to be "the most inclusive airline in the skies."
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