Sunbrellas and Parasols

The mid-Atlantic area is currently experiencing what is supposed to be the hottest day of a grueling heat wave, with the DC area supposedly getting the worst of it.

Guess where I live.

I saw a Twitter update from Anna Kendrick that hit home for me:

ParasolsJust… yes.

In China (and in fact, most parts of the world), umbrellas are regularly used to provide a personal spot of shade for you wherever you may go. The word “umbrella” comes from the root word umbra. Umbrella means “little shade”. When I’m in China, I am at a distinct disadvantage because when I’m walking on a sidewalk, most if not all the people carrying umbrellas are a bit shorter than me, leaving me at the perfect height to get an umbrella to the face. I like that I can carry an umbrella around in China, because it makes a world of a difference temperature-wise.

Original Function of the Umbrella
Courtesy of

Alas alack. When I carry my super nifty sunbrella that was my most prized possession in China, I get judged so hard. I feel the judgment especially harshly from fellow Asian Americans, who seem embarrassed by how fobby I look.

UH. I’m sorry that I want to stay cool and that I don’t feel like roasting my skin under the heat of the sun. Plus, I’ll admit, I feel very ladylike when I carry an umbrella around. It’s a little inconvenient but I kind of feel like I’m indulging myself in a little bit of shade. Delicious. (Plus, my sunbrella is beautiful.)

So. Fashion designers and trendsetters.  Get to making this an acceptable thing here please.

Do you carry an umbrella to keep the sun off your back? Have you ever considered it?