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United Airlines crew members at San Francisco International Airport. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

United Airlines is relaxing its rules on flight attendants' appearance in an attempt to be more inclusive.

State of play: Starting Sept. 15, United's customer-facing crew members will be allowed to have visible tattoos and workers of any gender can wear "natural-looking makeup" and nail polish. They will also be permitted to wear their hair down.

Yes, but: Tattoos must be smaller than employees' work badges and only shoulder-length or shorter hair can be worn down.

What they're saying: "We’ve updated our appearance standards to empower our employees to represent themselves in the way they feel most confident," United said in a statement.

The big picture: Uniforms for flight attendants widely adhere to rigid gender norms, but some airlines are starting to change their dress policies. For example, Virgin Atlantic in 2019 began allowing female crew members to forego makeup and wear pants instead of skirts, per CNN.

  • Other airlines like British Airways demand that male employees' hair "meet a conventional style which is appropriate for a professional environment." They're not allowed to shave their heads or keep their hair long.
  • An Alaska Airlines attendant said in a letter in June that the company uniforms discriminate against nonbinary people by enforcing a gender binary.

What to watch: United added the rules will expand to include other employees, including pilots, later this year, CNN notes.

Go deeper

Southwest, American Airlines to require workers to be vaccinated despite Texas ban

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, both based in Texas, will still require employees to get vaccinated despite the state's new ban on vaccine mandates by private businesses, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a sweeping executive order Monday night banning vaccine mandates by any "entity," including private employers.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.