Parasol of Prettiness
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 (a compound word of Spanish origin meaning "to stop/block the sun") 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 woman 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.
Anime and Manga
- One of Usagi's disguise dresses in Sailor Moon came with one of these.
- Tot's parasol in Weiss Kreuz is both of prettiness and of pain, being a lacy and frilly one with a hidden blade.
- Momo the Lolita from Kamikaze Girls is always twirling a parasol that matches her elaborate outfits.
- Miss Valentine of One Piece. Thanks to her weight-changing powers, it doubles as a Parasol Parachute. Perona has a parasol as well.
- Evangeline of Mahou Sensei Negima sometimes uses this to complement her Elegant Gothic Lolita attire.
- Quon from RahXephon carries a prettied up parasol on occasion.
- 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.
- Maruga, the white dragon Empress from Dragon Crisis almost always walks around with a parasol, sometimes even at night.
- Ranma ½: 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.
- In The Sound of Music, one of the Von Trapp daughters wanted a pink parasol, possibly for this reason.
- Parasols aplenty in Hello, Dolly!.
- Many posters for My Fair Lady have Eliza Doolittle using one while Henry Higgins watches on.
- Mary Poppins' standard umbrella doesn't qualify, but her parasol in the chalk painting sequence sure does - complete with lacy white dress.
- Maggie Dubois has one in The Great Race.
- Mulan carries an oriental style parasol when she goes to meet the matchmaker.
- In Little Women, Meg wants a white parasol with a black handle to take to a wealthy society friend's house, but Marmee gets her a green-and-yellow one by mistake.
- In Welcome to The NHK and its adaptations, Misaki is introduced with one of these - though she is something of a subversion of the Purity Sue archetype.
Live Action Television
- 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 NCIS, Abbie wore a lacy dress (but a black one), and had a matching parasol that she twirled around.
- 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").
- Worn with a matching dress in the opening of That Girl.
- Kari of MythBusters works the occasional parasol.
- In the musical Lestat, Claudia mentions how cute people think she is with a parasol in "I'll Never Have That Chance".
- 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".
- Princess Peach in Super Mario RPG and Super Princess Peach.
- Being the sweet, feminine lady she is, this trope appears a lot around her. She gets one in the first Paper Mario game that lets her disguise herself as anyone she points it at, and it overlaps with Parasol of Pain in Super Mario RPG and the Super Smash Brothers games. (She even manages to make it badass in Subspace Emissary; see Crowning Moment of Awesome.)
- Lady Rachel Alucard from BlazBlue. Being a Vampire, she has an entirely different reason for keeping the sun off her skin. Being a Fighting Game character, hers doubles as a Parasol of Pain.
- Several of the Touhou girls can be seen with umbrellas, including Yukari Yakumo, Yuuka Kazami, Remilia Scarlet, and Kogasa Tatara (the last one has it as a result of actually being an umbrella youkai).
- The parasol is also a mark of power in Touhou. The "seemingly" weakest character of those mentioned is "only" the Final Boss of her game. Everyone else is either a Bonus Boss or stated to be the World's Strongest Youkai.
- Should be mentioned that only Yukari and Remilia fit the trope exactly as "parasol as a symbol of high class and grace". Yuka is kind of messed up and in Kogasa's case, she IS the umbrella. An unused umbrella.
- Also justified in Remilia's case since she's a vampire and thus needs it to protect herself from the sunlight.
- The "Parasol Lady" trainer class from ~Pokémon~.
- Dahlia Hawthorne from Phoenix Wright 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.
- Princess Agatha from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- Okuni from Samurai Warriors is a travelling performer who is incredibly refined in both tastes and fashion, as is evidenced by her use of one of these, but it doesn't stop her from using it as a Parasol of Pain.
- Josephine, the "fop" character of Suikoden V, fought with one.
- 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.
- Selphy, an Eligible Bachelorette in Rune Factory: Frontier has one of these when she's outside in the sun; she twirls it a lot, and since it's heavily hinted at that she's a Rebellious Princess this definitely counts.
- Luna of Arc Rise Fantasia has one she also uses as a weapon.
- Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters wields one in one of her win poses.
- Clemence Ceillet de Rousseau of Survival of the Fittest infamy owned one such parasol. She quickly abandons it, though, considering "She had no time to bother with petty things".
- Subverted by Neo from RWBY, who is tiny, feminine and delicate, and carries a delicate, lacy parasol which is actually a Parasol of Pain which she wields with devastating skill, along with a kick-based martial art.
- Penelope Pitstop has one, mounted on the back of her car, on Wacky Races.
- Bridget in An American Tail has one when she first meets Tony, but loses it during the cat attack that follows.
- Katrina van Tassel in the "Sleepy Hollow" segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, is seen with a parasol in many of her scenes.
- In an episode of Alvin and The Chipmunks, Brittany and Jeanette took part in a beauty pageant where, at one point, the contestants dressed in Victorian costumes and handled parasols.
- Minnie Mouse has one in the 1890s-themed Classic Disney Shorts The Nifty Nineties.
- Cindy Bear of Yogi Bear fame.
- In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Isabelle has a parasol that is purple, like the rest of her outfit.