Why Carrie Bradshaw is Not a Positive Role Model For Women and Healthy Relationships Anymore

This piece has been syndicated from Her Campus Aberdeen. You can ​join a chapter at your school​ (or ​start your own​!).  

“Sex and The City” is one of those infamous series. From the eye-catching pairs of Manolo Blahnik’s to Carrie’s love interest, Mr. Big, it’s virtually impossible not to align yourself with the show. At the surface level, they’re all successful, career-driven women with fabulous wardrobes and a great taste in cocktails. But as I continue to watch Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte (for what I don’t like to admit must be at least the 12th time), I can’t help but wonder, do I still admire these women?

When I was eighteen and naïve as a freshman, I remember thinking ‘that’s who I want to be one day.’ I wanted to be glamorous, successful, and confident enough to put myself out there. I wanted to be able to date men at my own leisure, all while knowing that if nothing else, I had my best girlfriends to lean on no matter what. Four years later I can’t quite say I view Carrie Bradshaw the same way. Why you might ask? Simple….

She is desperate

Between chasing Aiden, Mr. Big or “The Russian,” Carrie continuously found herself caught in short-lived whirlwind romances that essentially had no future. Carrie’s laundry list of temporary love affairs is a lengthy one. In one episode she attempted to date a guy in a mental health hospital. In another she pursued a relationship with her “friends with benefits guy.” Carrie justified her actions as she chased after a 20- something-year-old guy with a tongue piercing. Lastly, in her most drastic decision, Carrie followed Aleksandr Petrovsky (or “the Russian”) to Paris in order to explore “what could be.”

Ultimately, it appears as though she needs a man in her life to feel validated. In the meantime, she fails to be happy for anybody who is in a committed relationship. Carrie rationalizes her distaste for commitment as a woman’s attempt to settle because they were afraid of ending up alone. Could it be that she is merely jealous of the people who found love and happiness? To an extent, Carrie is chasing those same realities but just in $400 shoes.

She is Selfish

Ever noticed that the weekly Sunday brunch discussion always circles back to Carrie’s problems? And no, it’s not because her problems are more important. It’s because she’s so self-indulgent, she’s not actually listening to what anyone else is saying. Friends are supposed to support each other. If Carrie was a real friend, she would have acknowledged Stanford Blach’s new relationship instead of just focusing on herself, yet AGAIN.

She over-thinks everything

Will he call? What was the Nina Katz’ face all about? Why can’t I meet his mother? Half of Carrie’s mind is constantly consumed with miniscule details that nobody would care to pay attention to. How do we know she’s obsessing? Because she feels the need to justify herself to everyone. The woman seeks out Nina to explain herself over a single facial expression. In all honesty, who has the time nowadays? If I had to seek out every woman in the world who had an opinion of me, I’d never get any work done…

She has no patience with men

Carrie dates Mr. Big only for a mere matter of months and stalks him and his Mother to a church just so she can say hi. Last time I checked, coercing a man into meeting his mother isn’t at the top of a healthy relationship checklist. Besides, who would want to introduce you as their girlfriend when A) You haven’t discussed that label yet and B) You stalked him and made a scene in the Church.

She is the biggest advocate for self-sabotage

Additionally, after years of searching, she sought out Aiden and found what she desired. For a while, Carrie was in a healthy, committed, adult relationship. However, she sabotaged their union when she cheated on Aiden for Mr. Big. She also ended up destroying Big’s relationship with Natasha because she didn’t understand how her actions impact other people. Most of all, Carrie has the audacity to be devastated when she can’t have her cake and eat it too. Who has the time or desire to think about themselves so much in one day?

She does not plan financially

Yes, she is a woman of much success with a column in the New Yorker, BUT she also has accumulated like $40,000 dollars in shoes. Meanwhile, her friends all seem to have planned ahead financially. We stood by and watched as Charlotte sold her engagement ring to pull Carrie out of a financial hole. In today’s climate, financial planning is an essential part of living and Bradshaw does not set any kind of precedent for that.

In my twenty-something opinion, Carrie Bradshaw is merely a representation of how not to be single. It’s a demonstration of how desperation can lead to obsession and instead of enjoying the single life, you’re stressed over things you just can’t control. Although she might be a successful woman professionally, personally she defines everything I urge women not to be in this modern-day and age. What’s wrong with getting together for Sunday brunch and talking about something other than men?

It may just be that this is an outdated series, but frankly, the other three supporting cast seems to strike a fair balance of the modern woman. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find a man, or dreaming of a big white wedding, or just wanting to be loved, but Carrie Bradshaw acts like a teenager with a credit card when it comes to men. She follows a neurotic pattern of excitement, fixation, obsession, and self-sabotage – and then plays the victim in a situation she is definitely not always innocent in. Whatever happened to playing it cool? With women advocating for independence and equality, the negative damsel in distress who lacks self-worth really is counter-productive.