Mexico Lifestyle & Entertainment News

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit • Mexico

  News &
Politics
Issues &
Opinions
Business &
Finance
Health &
Evironment
Lifestyle &
Entertainment
Travel &
Outdoors
Science &
Technology

Mexicana Flight Attendants Turned Calendar Girls Feud after Success

Ruth Samuelson - Fox News Latino
go to original
March 12, 2012
Share



The cover of the Calendar featuring Gina Itxel Aguilar, Ofelia Fernández Acordagoitia, Maribel Zavala Muñoz. (Ernesto Gilabert/Aeromozas Sobrevivientes)

Left unemployed by Mexicana Airline's bankruptcy, 10 employees banded together for a sexy calendar that became a sensation. But success comes at a price, and the 7 of the original band have fallen away.

One works as a flight attendant again, another just quit her job in a department store and three were recently photographed semi-nude for a new project.

When 10 Mexicana flight attendants posed in a sexy calendar over a year ago, the world took notice. But more than a year later, the women have gone their separate ways.  Many barely speak to each other.

The flight attendants originally united after Mexicana Airlines ceased service a year and a half ago. Suddenly without salary or sufficient unemployment benefits, they produced the sultry calendar to stay afloat.

“The idea was to do it and distribute it amongst our friends to make some money,” said Coral Pérez, the flight attendant who came up with the idea.

But what started as a do-it-yourself project quickly transformed into a phenomenon. Thrust into the spotlight, the women became a symbol of the toll of Mexicana’s bankruptcy. They made public appearances and did TV interviews.

Playboy caught wind and eventually sponsored a new version of the 2011 calendar. It also invited the women to pose nude for its magazine. Donning pillbox hats, short scarves, thongs and fishnets, six covered the April 2011 issue.

But by the time the magazine came out, the group had already begun to disperse.

Pérez had walked away. She didn’t want to strip down entirely, she said. She also said that some 1,000 calendars from the original 5,000 batch went missing. She accused an aeromoza and the photographer, Ernesto Gilabert, who took the lead in the program, of “mismanagement.” (He blames the girls for taking the calendars to events then losing them.)

These days, she’s unemployed, having just resigned from a retail job.

“It wasn’t my life,” she said,  “It has been difficult to be inside four walls, without the sunlight.”

Pérez was a flight attendant for 10 years. She said it’s hard leaving flying behind, but she’s planning on doing another calendar or similar project– something on a smaller scale.

For at least three girls – Maribel Zavala Muñoz, Ofelia Fernández Acordagoitia, Gina Itxel Aguilar– the aeromoza phenomenon continues.  

The women, who all posed in Playboy, produced a 2012 calendar called “Aeromozas Survivors.”

Gilabert photographed the new calendar as well. He and Fernández Acordagoitia have been dating for roughly a year.

SUMMARY

What started as a do-it-yourself project quickly transformed into a phenomenon. Thrust into the spotlight, the women became a symbol of the toll of Mexicana’s bankruptcy. They made public appearances and did TV interviews. But more than a year later, the women have gone their separate ways.  Many barely speak to each other.

He said he chose the women because they were the most popular. Although some of the other aeromozas were interested, he decided the calendar would look best with only three women.   

“[It’s] a spectacular number, visually in photography,” he said.

Zavala Muñoz and Fernández Acordagoitia are also currently rehearsing an aeromoza-related play, which they plan to take on the road – possibly to the United States.

Thus far, contacts in Chicago, Los Angeles and various Southwestern cities have been interested in scheduling the show, though nothing’s confirmed.

Although fame has been lucrative, the income changes month-to-month in comparison to what she used to earn, said Zavala Muñoz.

“Perhaps you can have a lot more, but perhaps, no – you don’t know, you don’t have any idea,” she said.

At least one aeromoza is flying again. Delmy Padilla Magali started a job at AeroMéxico a few months ago, she said.

Padilla Magali only posed for the first calendar, not participating in Playboy’s version.  

She thought the calendar was going to be a “type of movement.” But over time, she said, the photographer became more heavily involved with negotiations and the group’s business decisions, she said.

“From my point of view, the way in which he directed was nothing more than to exploit the image of the women,” she said.

For his part, Gilabert said Playboy was only interested in four of the aeromozas, but was able to negotiate with two more. He wasn’t responsible for choosing the girls.

He also said that the calendars slowly went missing when the women took them to various promotional events. Overall, there was little accountability from the entire group.

Ultimately, Padilla Magali backed out and relocated to northern California, where her then-fiancé lived. The two got married and she taught Spanish classes. When she got the flight attendant job offer, she and her Finnish husband – they met on a plane – moved to Mexico.

“I’m very thankful because many people said that none of us that participated in the calendar would be contracted by another airline,” she said.

Monica Silva Gómez, another early aeromoza, is using her “little bit of fame” to launch a singing career. She recently produced a disk, mostly of covers. She hopes to sell two original songs on iTunes soon.

She too felt that once Playboy entered the picture, the group dynamic changed. (She didn’t pose on the cover.)

Ultimately, she didn’t want a catfight.

If the offer had fallen into her lap, “onward,” she said, but “it wasn’t going to be like ‘Listen, I want to undress myself!!!’”

These days, she sells underwear and pajamas from a catalogue to boost her income.  Overall, she enjoyed publicizing the calendar and looks back fondly on the experience.

She added: “People told me ‘you’re the one that smiles the most during interviews,’ and I said, ‘it’s because I love it!’”

Ruth Samuelson is a freelance writer based in Mexico City.


We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

CHARITY ALERT Volunteer Opportunities Available at EntreAmigos

Volunteers are the reason that EntreAmigos in San Pancho is able to do so much with so little funding.

We LOVE our volunteers and depend on them for most projects and programs.

Please consider volunteering, there are many fun projects and it is always a great way to meet people and feel part of the community.

Check out the volunteer opportunities here

Meet the Charities

Community Services

Environmental

Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family

Education

Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood

 

Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change

Stay Connected

Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels


Resources

About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Jobs - Join PVAngels Team

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

Craig's List in Puerto Vallarta

News Around Mexico

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Mexico Business News

Mexico Evironmental News

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Mexico Travel & Outdoors

Science & Technology News

Mexico News & Travel Videos


FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

2014 • m3 • local actions from global awareness