Jeff Bezos’ partner Lauren Sanchez says she was turned down as a flight attendant because she was too heavy: “I weigh 121 pounds.”
Lauren Sánchez, a journalist and helicopter pilot, was rejected by Southwest Airlines as a flight attendant because she was overweight.
In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal magazine, Sánchez, 53, shared that she did not advance because of Southwest’s weight restrictions back in 1989.
Sanchez, who is currently in a relationship with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos after leaving home at 18, moved to Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a flight attendant. However, Southwest Airlines told her that she was too heavy to work for them.
“At that point, they weigh you, and I weighed 121 pounds,” Sanchez explained to the Wall Street Journal. “They said, ‘You need to be 115.'”
Although Sánchez’s incident occurred in 1989, Southwest Airlines’ rules have changed since then. On their current careers page for prospective flight attendants, the airline requires prospective applicants to meet certain specific criteria, including a minimum age of 20 and “good appearance.
“Weight to height ratio must maintain a neat appearance and not interfere with physical ability to perform all job functions,” the website reads. Attendants must also be able to “lift 50 pounds to shoulder height and other physical conditions.”
Looking back, Sanchez says she knows what she would tell the airline if she were rejected one of these days: “I don’t want to be a flight attendant. I want to be a pilot!”
While Sanchez is looking for a position as a flight attendant, it’s not uncommon for women to be criticized for their weight when looking for work in Hollywood and elsewhere. Jennifer Lawrence had previously been asked to lose 10 pounds for her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. However, she refused to do so.
“Those books are big, and I know the audience is kids. The most important conversation I remember was, ‘How much weight do you have to lose?'” She told Viola Davis on Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “I was too young and growing to diet, and I don’t know if I wanted all the girls who were going to dress up as Katniss to feel like they couldn’t do it because they weren’t a certain weight. And I can’t let that thought seep into my brain.”
Amanda Seyfried has also spoken out on the issue, sharing in a 2014 tweet that she “almost lost a few roles in my career because I was overweight. Wrong, America.”
After being rejected by Southwest Airlines, Sanchez embarked on a long career in journalism while also becoming an experienced helicopter pilot who still tries to fly at least three times a week. She also spent a lot of time with Bezos, who officially split from his wife of 25 years, Mackenzie, back in 2019 . In January of the same year, it was revealed that he was romantically involved with Sanchez, who was then married to Patrick Whitesell, executive chairman of the entertainment company William Morris Endeavor.
Today, the couple, who have seven children, are learning to live with a blended family. Sánchez has nothing but praise for her man, calling him a “fool” and saying he “always makes me laugh.