Day 197: Parasols

Umbrella vendor set up on a corner in Pudong.

Umbrella vendor set up on a corner in Pudong.

Unlike NYC where sudden rainstorms sprout umbrella hawkers outside every subway station and hotel, Shanghai’s parasol vendors are brought out by the summer sunshine. Light skin is a “Chinese obsession” according to a number of local Shanghainese; migrants from rural areas, many with darker, rougher complexions, are looked down upon. One television commercial even makes the claim that a certain skin lotion will make you “three shades lighter.” And despite the hot, humid weather, many women wear long sleeves, hats and pants. ““A woman should always have fair skin,” a Chinese lady was quoted as saying in a NY Times article. “Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.”

2 thoughts on “Day 197: Parasols

  1. Billy, US and European culture at the turn of the century and before; upper class didn’t work outside (or work at all) and farmers and laborers got tanned. Humans.

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