I was never allowed to see Jurassic Park as a child. Deeming it too scary, my parentals banned me from the movie as well as the Universal Studios ride we had VIP passes for, a travesty now realized many years after the fact. Assuming it was just a shit dinosaur movie that nerds were obsessed with (sorry), I didn't think much of it before slinking into a velour seat last week to watch that lady from "Enlightened" and Ruxin's dad in some zillion-year-old cult favorite, updated in 3D, and emerging with my life forever changed. (Short answer: my parents were so right.) After two hours of white-knuckled clutching my boyfriend's hand and, yes, some screaming mirrored only by the 7-year-old boy down the row who also had no idea what the fuck he had gotten himself into, I left, with quadruple espresso-levels of anxiety and an obsession with the twenty-year-old dinosaur movie that I'm still not sure where to appropriate.
While my daily thoughts about Jeff Goldblum's chest hair and sliding down a dino's neck have slowly dropped off, my brain has switched to another topic: mother fucking summer and what on god's earth to wear throughout it. As if life as a woman wasn't hard enough — and crop tops weren't the most unrealistic swatch of fabric to be sold on a hanger — everyone's infiltrating regular clothing with cutouts as "the thing" to wear this summer. Cutouts. I've spent the past two years trying to squeeze my ass into jean shorts, and now I have to master skeletor-status just to buy a dress at Urban Outfitters?
What the fuck happened? The tops are getting croppier, the shorts are getting shorter, and as a tall girl who wasn't blessed with legs like the model who shares my first name, I just want some real clothes, not a charade of a bra passing as an outfit. While questioning whose parents let them out of the house half-naked and looking like that — sorry Aimee Song, but that shit Crayola* — I'm looking for form and function as a repulsion to the new trend of dressing like an extra in a Katy Perry video.
Some of us review meat for a living and can't traipse around in a two-piece dress like it's small-town prom and we've got well-oiled tendrils to celebrate the occasion. So, somewhere between daydreaming about how to get rid of love handles at hyperspeed and that velociraptor being let loose in the visitors center, it hit me — I don't want to look like I'm wearing a well-dressed Treasure Troll anyway. Even more than my Jurassic Park-obsessed self wants a plastic lunchbox with Dr. Alan Grant's face on it, I want Laura Dern's paleobotanist wardrobe.
Crisp khaki shorts that won't get caught into the abyss of your thighs. Makeshift sleeveless tees to show off the mild progress of doing, like, ten pushups a day but nothing more. Sunglasses intended to block UV rays, not make you look more intimidating than everyone else at the pool. I'm not craving ideas; i'm craving clothes. And, if safari jackets are all the rage anyway, why not up the ante with a few extra sets of pockets for your iPhone charger or stegosaurus dung-sifting gloves? (I'll assume I don't even need to emphasize the importance of chambray in this equation.)
It's not about covering up or even wearing quick-dry sand-colored layers that'll protect you if a baby dinosaur upchucks on your kerchief. It's about feeling comfortable in your own skin, and your second, 100% cotton one. Because really, if full nudity in front of strangers is horrific and bikinis are a close second, whatever you wear on a Saturday afternoon shouldn't come third. Lands End, baby: I'm on my way.
*I've been told my a friend that I'm totally out of my gourd, that Coachella was full of these things, and that her bra top as outfit is completely normal based on the amount of people also wearin 'em. I say: if you can't wear it in front of your dad, it's not clothing. Sticking to my ol' lady guns on this one.