Bryce Dallas Howard: the red carpet star to watch

The Jurassic World actress reminded us that beauty isn’t always defined by a size zero, or a one-of-a-kind designer dress.

Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images

You know how it goes: a big event is coming up. Black tie. As per usual, you have no idea what to wear. But before your panic has a chance to hit full steam―ding, dong―your stylist shows up, arms draped in dresses―all size 0 and tailored to fit you beautifully, of course―from designers dying to be seen on you.

No? Not your experience? Of course, this is not exactly how it happens for normal folks like us. Indeed, this dreamy scenario is the lore of the abnormal, of the starlets, and socialites.

Except for sometimes, when celebrities surprise us by acting, well, ordinary. It happens when First Ladies pop into Target. Or when young beautiful actors, with legendary, powerful fathers, choose a dress for the Golden Globes off the rack. (Gasp!) In a size 6. (Double gasp!) Which is exactly what Bryce Dallas Howard did when she walked into Neiman Marcus. Department stores have, according to Bryce, a larger choice of “bigger” sizes (Oh, Hollywood!)―so she went there to see what her options were. What she found was fantastic: a sparkly floor-length sequined Jenny Packham dress. And, presumably, she tried it on in a dressing room just like you or I would.

Bryce Dallas Howard at Golden Globes

Steve Granitz / Getty Images

Of course, plenty of people would poo-poo the notion of buying anything at Neiman-Marcus as “normal.” Certainly the $4,900 price tag on this dress isn’t in my budget. (God bless you if it’s in yours.)

But consider: the fact that most of us can get into our cars, head to Target or the mall, and pick up some kicky new boots isn’t normal for 99.9% of the people who’ve ever lived. To be able to do that―without substantial strain or stress―is an unimaginable luxury for most people on the planet.

So let’s just enjoy Bryce Dallas Howard’s “normal” purchase, let’s celebrate how beautiful she looked in a department store dress―even standing on a fancy red carpet next to shockingly “big” Hollywood stars wearing gowns that took over 200 hours to hand sew, or those draped in over 200 carats of jewelry―and remember to be thankful for the everyday luxuries we enjoy.

Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira is the author of five books and is a columnist for Her.meneutics and ThinkChristian. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, three kids, and one red-nose pit bull. Visit her at