A Short Story By Raven Smith
Columnist for American Vogue, author of the Sunday Times Bestseller Raven Smith’s Trivial Pursuits and purveyor of everyone’s favourite Instagram captions, Raven Smith’s summer wardrobe looks a lot like his IG posts - short, sassy and stylish. Who better to offer us some insight on a timeless seasonal staple? Below, Raven tells us a tale of how he found his sartorial happily ever after (in a great pair of shorts).
It’s hard to determine the exact moment I realised I had legs. Not so much that I had legs, but that my legs were my most important limbs. More important than my arms. Arms are great for lifting things, and obviously my hands are right at the end of them which is nice, but my legs do so much more than get me from a to b. They’re the flesh column pedestals that elevate my very being. I’m taller than most which comes with a bunch of bonuses. I can see to the front at gigs, or across a party at hot people or celebrities. I could probably kick an apple off the top of your head like William Tell but I’ve never tried. If I dyed my hair I could be a leggy blonde, or a cancan girl at the Moulin Rouge. That’s the universal power of long legs.
Maybe I first noticed my legs when I was toddling, though I remember little from those days outside of what I’ve seen in photographs. It wouldn’t have been at school either, because we had itchy grey slacks smothering our fledgling pins. I guess it was the summer holidays, with their limitless sunlit freedom and the chance to wear shorts. Shorts are transformative. People think shorts are garments, trousers but shorter, nothing but mere cloth. These people are wrong. Shorts change everything like finding out Santa isn’t real. Slip your feet into the hungry holes of a short-leg and the world shifts. Shorts are a display case for your legs like the cabinet full of trophies in a high school gym. They’re the ornate gilt that frames the knowing Mona Lisa of your thighs. Shorts are a neon Sharpie that highlight knees like precision contouring on a Kardashian face. Shorts balance ankles like Libran scales. What more could you ask for?
I vowed to learn to do the splits in lockdown, but light research reveals the splits take months of practice, lunging into yourself day after day to make the acute angle of your stride inch towards obtuse. An easier way to draw attention is to revel in shorts. It doesn’t really matter what length and it’s good to fluctuate heights like mercury in a thermometer. Feel yourself stand taller in bermudas or hotpants. You are a better person in shorts. Perhaps even insure your legs like J-Lo insuring her arse. Someone might steal your pins and ransom them for some extortionate amount. I will front the money for their return because we all stand together on leg day.
So, thank you, to my own legs. Thank you, femur. Thank you, tibia. And thank you, patella for hinging the other two. More than that, thank you shorts. I honestly couldn’t do it without you.
Raven Smith is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller Raven Smith’s Trivial Pursuits and a columnist for US Vogue.
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