Singapore Girl advert, 1973.

She’s probably the longest standing icon in the airline industry. Since 1972, Singapore Airlines’ famous Singapore Girl has been a standard in the brand’s ad campaigns. She’s a symbol of grace, elegance and care. Walking with a gentle flow, body hugged by the tradition Singaporean sarong kebaya dress, she’s graced ads for forty years now, often accompanied by a version of the classic serenade to her, final lyrics: “Singapore Girl … you’re a great way to fly …”

Many love her, though she’s certainly a controversial figure. Despite criticisms of servility and Orientalism in her representation, the company has publicly declared its dedication to her and stated it has no intention of dropping her.

See Singapore Girl in her early days below.