I have been obsessed with skincare since I was little. My mother and grandmother have always practiced good skincare routines, in true European tradition. My grandmother had porcelain skin with piercing blue eyes and patted Ponds cold cream on her face nightly. My mother has blue eyes, an olive complexion, tans beautifully, rarely wears sunscreen and swears by Janet Sartin and Pratima Ayurvedic skin care products. She is blessed with insanely protective genes. Under regular circumstances, she should have been shriveled like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, but instead has beautifully smooth skin.
As for me, I have religiously worn sunscreen since the age of 15. To this day I wear SPF 50 when I leave the house. Additionally, I keep a hat in my car just in case I am exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time.
Tanning used to be considered déclassé but was elevated to fashionable heights by Chanel. Though today we are aware of the great health risks associated with tanning, a golden glow appears healthy and the rays of sunlight are both comforting and soothing. What irks me are those women of a certain age with leathery skin. The years of tanning have not been kind and the sight of their age spot speckled poitrine makes me squirm in my wheelchair. And there are those women, golfing or playing tennis, with vertical lines etched in their visages, sporting frosted pink lipstick as their finishing touch. WHEW!
This year I decided to go one step further than my usual layering of SPF 5000 and wearing of a big floppy hat the circumference of a golf umbrella. I decided to purchase a parasol. Few American women carry them, but in most Asian cultures they wouldn’t be caught dead without one. Asian women are prone to melasma, which is a condition caused by exposure to sunlight. The sun causes melanin production to go into high gear and causes brown spots to appear on your epidermis. So in order to prevent melasma, they wear tons of sun protection and carry a parasol. If they are not carrying a parasol, they are wearing the newest anti-sun fad, the “Face-kini”, a mask with holes cut out for the nose and mouth which shield the face from the sun.
Though you might think the Face-kini and parasol are the ultimate in skin protection, whitening creams are also popular in Asian markets. Asian women prize porcelain skin the way Brazilian women revere sun kissed complexions. I would be an outcast in Brazil if I were ever to visit. I envision being arrested upon arrival in Rio and sent back with my vintage parasol broken in half on the next plane to NY. No pale face allowed on these shores.
As someone who needs to look fashionable all the time, I had to find a parasol that wasn’t generic looking. So when I found this bamboo 1950s inspired one with old Cadillacs silk screened all over it, I went daft.
Mind you, I had to find the appropriate place to carry one. I wasn’t about to bring this to Shop-Rite or CVS, so I decided to promenade through Rye Playland in Rye, NY–Westchester county’s premiere–and only amusement park.
The day was glorious with the sun shining brightly onto the boardwalk and the Long Island Sound. I adore boardwalks and ocean air, so I decided to sit there for awhile with my new pink pompadour hairdo, Prada Scroll (top image) and Ray-Ban sunglasses, peach top from Anthropologie, Lacoste skirt and Miista booties.
Next, I had to snap some photos of the ferris wheel and carousel. Don’t you love rides? Particularly the ferris wheel, of which I have fond memories from high school. My friends and I would throw stuff down from the highest height onto bystanders and then quickly stare off into space. Today’s teens prefer to walk into on coming traffic while busily texting. Ahhh, good ol’ teenage fun!
At the end of the day I couldn’t resist having my fortune read by ZOLTAR. That is one smart cat. What a blessing to be able to sit inside a musty wooden box all day, with screeching kids high on cotton candy smacking the plexi-glass window. People are rapt as they hear their fortunes, reacting as though they just heard the Gospel. Zoltar is wise and gives credible advice, so make sure you pay the $1 it takes to have him read your destiny.
I like my fortune and completely agree with him. Do you?