This past summer, I began carrying a small umbrella with me when it's particularly bright and hot out because, since turning 25, I'm more worried than ever about skin cancer.
Well, let's be honest — I'm worried about wrinkles and age spots and redness and dry skin and brown marks... and skin cancer.
Luckily I live in Vancouver, where much of the Chinese population carry umbrellas around when it's sunny to protect their skin, so I didn't get a lot of weird looks. But in preparation for next year, I've ordered a cute cheap printed parasol from an online company.
It looks like this:
And will probably be more fun to tote around than a child's umbrella that looks like a watermelon.
But I wish that the parasol would come back in a big way — less for the fashion element and more because as a pale-skinned, freckly person with a very high likelihood of contracting skin cancer, it would be nice if Western Caucasian women weren't so obsessed with tanning in all of its nasty, carcinogenic forms.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of the point when tanning became fashionable (thanks, Coco Chanel), maybe it's time to take stock of all the havoc that that particular trend has wrought and, while we're at it, pick up a cute little paper parasol?