Today’s post for the 52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge; 46. Parasols: Vital or frivolous?
Well, considering I own all of 1.5 lolita parasols (the half affectionately belongs to an innocent world collapsible umbrella that, while cute for an umbrella, isn’t really quite an actual parasol.) I’m going to go with frivolous. I think parasols are quite nice, and I adore the one true one I have (Innocent World’s Lion Crown Umbrella), but 90% of the time I don’t carry one with me when I go out because, well, it’s just one more thing to carry!
When I first started getting interested in lolita (2008-ish), I used to think that being super pale was critical, to the point where I expected that lolita would be using SPF 9000 and lighter toned makeup to look even more pale (pale being based on their starting skin tone, mind you. As in ‘has never gotten a sun tan in their life’, not pale as in must-have-an-Irish-complexion). And, honestly, I’m not sure where that idea came from. I know Victorian ladies used to view paleness as a positive trait because it showed that you were affluent enough to sit about indoors… much the same way having soft, uncalloused hands was valued. Having grown up reading Little Women, Anne of Green Gables the Mandie series and the American Girl books, I certainly got a fair bit of ‘old fashioned’ ideas of beauty into my head as a child, and, I think that might have been where at least some of it came from. I do know that paleness is valued in Japan as well, which could add to it. But, then, I stumbled upon something odd; a mention of skin lighteners not being an appropriate topic of discussion on EGL due to the dangers of them… and it sort of got some gears in my head turning. I am most involved in EGL as far as sources of information about lolita fashion in English go… and a part of me wonders if paleness really was (or still is) a big part of the lolita fashion outside of the western communities, and I really don’t know. If I trusted the internet enough to have a discussion on it without it degrading into racist dribble, I’d make a topic about it somewhere, but people tend to read pale as Anglo-saxon, and not lacking-a-tan-and-freckles, so I suppose I’ll just have to wonder.
Anyways, I digress. Parasols are lovely, and useful for keeping the sun off your head as well as poking boys who are being pests and are certainly head turning in public, but I wouldn’t consider them vital.