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Parasol of Prettiness

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An elegant accessory for an elegant Yamato Nadeshiko.
Image by Marty Noble

Any time a lady carries a parasol as a sign of high-class grace and femininity, and sometimes as a sign of demureness and innocence.

The parasol has been used in cultures all over the world for at least 2,000 years, from Egypt to Greece to China, before making its way to Europe and the United States in the 18th century. This trope basically kicked in during the 19th century, when it was almost always proper for a well-to-do lady to carry one to keep from getting sunburns on her delicate skin, whereas poor women had to grub in the fields. Now that having a suntan isn't seen as so gauche anymore, it's just symbolic of the lady having aforementioned traits. Plus, it just looks...well, pretty.

Bonus points if she is also wearing a white, lacy dress, and even more points if she is on an Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date.

Of course, this means the trope is prevalent in The Gay '90s and Southern Belles. Also of course, this can set off Real Women Don't Wear Dresses.

It can overlap with Parasol Parachute, Parasol of Pain, Kicking Ass in All Her Finery.

Compare Umbrella of Togetherness, High-Class Gloves, High-Class Fan, Southern Belle, The Ingenue, Elegant Gothic Lolita.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Doki Doki! PreCure, Alice is never seen without a ruffly parasol, indicating her femininity, gentleness, and wealth.
  • Maruga, the white dragon Empress from Dragon Crisis! almost always walks around with a parasol, sometimes even at night.
  • Juvia of Fairy Tail used to carry a parasol during the Phantom Lord arc, due to her being the bringer of bad weather.
  • K has a Rare Male Example in Yashiro "Shiro" Isana, who is never seen without his pretty red parasol. Which he later on starts using as a variation of a Parasol of Pain in regards to channelling his power in it to block attacks - but ''only'' to block.
  • Momo the Lolita from Kamikaze Girls is always twirling a parasol that matches her elaborate outfits.
  • In Kill la Kill the "royal couturier", Nui Harime (a cutesy psychopath of immense strength and foil to the lead character Ryuko Motoi) first enters the narrative sporting a lacey parasol accompanying her generally high-fashion-meets-frills attire. However, she soon ditches the parasol to reveal Nui prefers to sport half of a massive pair of scissors as a weapon, proof that she is the killer of Ryuko's father that the protagonist has been seeking, although she is still frequently seen with the parasol later, particularly when effortlessly dodging a hail of attacks, which the stylized animation of the show often represents by showing her and the parasol as a Paper Person rotating along the vertical axis.
  • Tot's parasol in Knight Hunters is both of prettiness and of pain, being a lacy and frilly one with a hidden blade.
  • Evangeline of Negima! Magister Negi Magi sometimes uses this to complement her Elegant Gothic Lolita attire.
  • Miss Valentine of One Piece. Thanks to her weight-changing powers, it doubles as a Parasol Parachute. Perona has a parasol as well.
  • Osomatsu-san: In the first episode, Todomatsu, the girliest of the boys, shows up holding a pink parasol. It's also one of the reasons he's the trope picture for the potholed "girliest" (Yes, it's actually him).
  • Quon from RahXephon carries a prettied up parasol on occasion.
  • Ranma ˝: Played for laughs when an old, dying man starts to haunt Ranma's dreams, because "she" reminds him of his first love. In these recurring dreams, Ranma is dressed in girly clothes and sporting a parasol to further accent the femininity of the look. He has to use an equally feminine parasol later on, which only adds to his annoyance with the situation.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: Anthy carries one while watching a duel.
  • For the first few pages of the Rosario + Vampire manga's obligatory Beach Chapter, Mizore holds a parasol. Justified, in that it's blocking the hot sun from causing any damage to her. Although, she has no qualms about dropping the parasol and donning a stripy bikini later on.
  • One of Usagi's disguise dresses in Sailor Moon came with one of these. She was infiltrating a high-class affair and the disguise wouldn't be complete without it.


    Comic Books 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. When outlaw Tuco is Crossing the Desert on horseback he's not only wearing a sombrero, he puts up a pretty pink parasol as well. Blondie, however, is bareheaded and on foot, as Tuco wants him to die a slow death of heatstroke or thirst.
  • Mandalay: Tanya is introduced twirling a lovely parasol on a hot day, unaware of her imminent betrayal. Her physical beauty is key to the plot since it's because of it that she becomes the brothel's main attraction after her lover sells her to a pimp. And then again, why she's able to blackmail her way out of it.
  • Mary Poppins' standard umbrella doesn't qualify, but her parasol in the chalk painting sequence sure does — complete with lacy white dress.
  • Master and Commander. When HMS Surprise stops off at a Brazilian port, the natives come out in longboats to trade with the sailors, including several women implied to be prostitutes. A rather pretty Brazilian twirling a parasol catches the captain's eye; he's clearly tempted, but as he's married Aubrey walks away instead (though he can't resist turning for one last look at her).
  • Many posters for My Fair Lady have Eliza Doolittle using one while Henry Higgins watches on.
  • In The Sound of Music, one of the Von Trapp daughters wanted a pink parasol, possibly for this reason.
  • Summer Magic. At the lawn party in which Julia and Nancy are competing over Charles, Julia carries a delicate parasol that matches the dress she made.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Mrs. Lovett has a light parasol with red polka dots during her "I Want" Song "By the Sea" — she would like to be a lady and have a happy family.
  • In Tombstone, Josephine carries one when she first appears.
  • Subverted in Under Ten Flags. During World War 2, the Horny Sailors on a British merchant ship are eagerly checking out the parasol-twirling Kimono Fanservice on a (then still neutral) Japanese vessel, until the 'women' cast aside their parasols and race to man the guns of their disguised German raider.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Kaylee from Firefly carries a parasol when she is first introduced, to show that despite being a Wrench Wench, she still likes some pretty things (a trait we see more of in "Shindig").
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: In "It's a Gift!", the Captain attempts to buy Caroline a gift in an attempt to make up for his interfering in Jonathan's education. He is convinced that a parasol would be the perfect gift—as it would have been for a lady of his time—and has an Imagine Spot of her strolling in the garden wearing a lacy white dress and carrying the parasol.
  • Kari of MythBusters works the occasional parasol if she's dressing up for an experiment.
  • In NCIS, Abbie wore a lacy dress (but a black one), and had a matching parasol that she twirled around.
  • Worn with a matching dress in the opening of That Girl.
  • In an episode of Unhappily Ever After, Jennie wanted a picnic like that in a film she watched (didn't work out), and wore a white dress and a parasol.
  • In the 1999 miniseries adaptation Wives and Daughters, lots of ladies can be seen with a pretty parasol. It's especially noticeable with free-spirited Lady Harriet (emphasis on high class and beauty) and the heroine Molly Gibson (emphasis on gentle disposition and femininity).

  • In Lestat, Claudia mentions how cute people think she is with a parasol in "I'll Never Have That Chance".
  • The young ladies who perform the foot juggling act in Nouvelle Experience not only carry Chinese parasols but use them as their primary props!
  • Parasols are featured prominently in the opening number for Ragtime. In fact, they're presented as one thing that separates the upper-class whites from "Negros" and "Immigrants".

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • According to a note in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Daniel had to use one when he went to the desert. He didn't want to, since he would invoke this trope.

    Visual Novels 
  • Mio from Little Busters! always carries a lacy white parasol with her whenever she's outside. This emphasises her traditional, elegant beauty, as well as implying a great physical fragility. The fact that she's never seen in direct sunlight also hints at there being more to her than what people see on the surface, while her nickname 'no shadow' refers to the way she seems as though she doesn't belong to this world. The parasol is so integral to her character, in fact, that her default battle title is 'Parasol-holding Silent Beauty' and her credits sequences involve a stylised, slowly-spinning parasol. It's very important to her plotline - she carries the parasol to hide the fact that she literally no longer has a shadow.
  • Dahlia Hawthorne from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations has a parasol with a shade of light pink and ever-present personal butterflies. Until she burns them up with her demonic gaze as part of her Villainous Breakdown.
  • As part of her elegant, traditional appearance, Kakuya from Spirit Hunter: NG carries a red parasol when confronting Akira in the underpass. It'll make an appearance in some endings where Kakuya was supposedly locked away, signalling that she might not be gone for good.

  • A male example (assuming the gender of this character is stated) is the Monster in the Darkness from The Order of the Stick, who is ordered to stay in the shadows until the right time to reveal him. When going outside, he has to stay in the shadows of a parasol, which is Hello Kitty pretty, to show his gentle nature.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Feminine Parasol


Prison Dance Scene

After Phoenix gets imprisoned, we see him perform musical routines and a Busby Berkeley Number with his fellow inmates.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / PrisonerPerformance

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