It was a normal morning in the midst of typhoon season–that horrible, wonderful season where the air is sticky, the temperatures are hot and my face is plump and embarrassingly shiny, no matter what I do. I had ditched my liquid base weeks earlier when it became clear it could no longer survive the walk to work. But damned if I was going to let my matte sunscreen do the same! Out of desperation I opened up my giant umbrella and went to work. My sunscreen survived the sweaty commute. So did I.
My life changed and I’ve been a parasol toter ever since.
Ah, the parasol. My frame of reference for parasol use growing up was Mary Poppins, Kirby and older women–including my grandma, who I saw breaking it out every now and again.
OK so Kirby isn’t a person–and he doesn’t use a parasol how I might–but he is in possession of a really spiffy parasol.
I get that parasols aren’t traditionally a beauty item, but hear me out on this one.
The case for a parasol
I fought really hard on the parasol front. I didn’t want to like it and I didn’t want to purport Asian stereotypes. Especially Asian female stereotypes, of which there are many that are offensive and inaccurate.
But the parasol is one of those things that I have begrudgingly come to love.
On a practical front, it’s portable shade. Shade = instant cover. Instant cover means protection from the temperature as much as the sun’s rays. And a reprieve from melting makeup and sunscreen.
Seriously about the temperature. A parasol knocks off what feels like 5 degrees!
These are really easy to tote around, come in different colours and sizes and make an awesome accessory. You don’t even need a dedicated parasol–just grab a regular umbrella!
It’s definitely the most overlooked way to beat the summer heat.
The case against the parasol
Bad driving. Visors. Sun shields. The parasol.
What do these have in common? They’re all Asian stereotypes. Asian female stereotypes.
Especially Asian female stereotypes of a certain age. The more I’ve travelled, the more I’ve discovered this isn’t really an Asian stereotype. I was in the Caribbean and saw a lot of the locals doing this before I finally caved into my urge and whipped out my umbrella.
Besides not wanting to fall into that stereotyping, there really isn’t a case against a parasol.
You do have to remember to keep an umbrella with you at all times and you may get stares when you venture outside.
Toting one takes a lot of bravery if you are the only one on the block toting one, but think of all the sunshine you get to be in the presence of without all the drawbacks (eg. sweat, shine and slipping makeup/sunscreen).
Parasols on the beach
This is from one of my favourite beaches of all time.
As a West Coaster who grew up on beaches, I don’t just say stuff like that unless I mean it.
I don’t swim at the beach. I don’t want to have to cross hot sand and rock to get to the water. Most of the time it’s salt water and I can’t really swim in that because my eyes burn. I’d rather chill on the beach, reading or taking a snooze. To that end, I love a good parasol on the beach.
I’m not rich enough to get a cabana to myself, so a parasol to shield two suits me just fine.
Parasols in day-to-day life
It’s so easy to grab a parasol on the beach but it’s a different matter when you’re strolling in the city. Especially if yours is the only umbrella open on a sunny day. If you can’t brazen it out, try taking it out on short distances or places close to your home or work.
Or on an afternoon where you’re at the park and reading a book.
Then work your way up to outings where you’re out amongst a lot of people.
I promise you, you won’t regret it!
Have you ever rocked a parasol? Do you think you’ll give it a whirl this summer?
Let me know in the comments below!
Also, make sure you visit these lovely ladies for their summer beauty secrets!
6100 Main: Fashion of Rice University • Rosiemay • Fairyburger • In The Loop • Suite 6Ten • Southern Soul • My L(e)onely Planet • Native Texan Livin’ • The Pace • Lipstick and Brunch • New Key Beauty • Beauty and the Pitch