If you have ever been to Thailand, you will know Thai girls use umbrellas when it rains to prevent themselves getting wet. Just like anywhere else in the world.
But, there is another time when Thai girls use umbrellas — pretty much any time the sun is out and it is hot.
Of course, most westerners may think umbrellas are used in hot weather by Thais to keep cool, but that’s not usually the case. In fact, many Thai girls use umbrellas when it gets extremely hot, or when the sun is excessively strong, so they can protect their skin and make sure they do not get a tan.
In Thailand, unlike in the west, brown or ‘dark skin’ is not considered attractive because Thais equate a tan with people who work in the fields, and most Thai women certainly don’t want other people to think they do that. (I didn’t say it made any sense, or wasn’t classist, it is just the way it is in Thailand when it comes to tans).
That is why many Thai girls will protect their skin from the sun, with the application of copious amounts of sunscreen every time they leave the house and an always-up umbrella.
It always makes me think of Victorian British ladies, who used to use a parasol to make sure their skin remained lily white.