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Cynthia Nixon as “Miranda Hobbes,” Sarah Jessica Parker as “Carrie Bradshaw,” Kristin Davis as “Charlotte York.”
Cynthia Nixon as “Miranda Hobbes,” Sarah Jessica Parker as “Carrie Bradshaw,” Kristin Davis as “Charlotte York.”
Culture > Entertainment

What ‘Sex and the City’ Taught Me About Love, Life, & Friendship

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

The hit show Sex and the City has touched the hearts of many out there. For some, it is the relatability, craziness, and even the iconic fashion moments that are translated today in 2023. The original run of the show began in 1998, and ever since, the series following Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) navigate all things love, life, friends, and clothes in New York City. It was personally inevitable to start the series as various Pinterest boards are graced with Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic outfits. It became a highly addictive show for me, as the jump around of all the main girls’ lives, including their iconic lunch debrief sessions that make the unique experiences of girlhood and womanhood feel more universal and personal. Seeing so many female canon event experiences in the lives of these women has made my 20-year-old-self feel assured and has left me with countless lessons and laughs along the way.

In terms of love, the relationships in Sex and the City not only taught me what I want in love, but especially what I do not want in love. Although the taste in men within the show is a personal bias, the men in the show (and 2 movies) have displayed enough material to make a personal judgment call. Mr. Big (Chris Noth) notoriously personifies a double-edged sword when his devotion to Carrie is questioned.

Throughout the whole six seasons and two films, Mr. Big has left more disappointment in my heart than any series regular boyfriend. His consistent stunts, flakiness, and arrogance have given me enough material on what anyone should avoid in any man or partner. From his devastating abandonment of Carrie at the altar in Sex and the City (film) to also involving Carrie in an affair with his then-wife Natasha (only to get caught in season 3×11). Big will always do what is best for Big and teaches everyone watching to avoid any man who carries narcissism like Big possesses.

Life lessons are always being taught in the Sex and the City -verse, as all characters have qualities and personality traits that translate into valuable skills for watchers to obtain. Throughout her run on the show and in both movies (Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2, respectively), Samantha Jones had many moments of self-assurance and confidence that conjure her alluring persona. For this reason, Samantha is the favourite of many, as her perseverance has gotten her much respect from viewers and taught them how her fearlessness is something to recognize. In season six episode 19, Samantha is speaking at the cancer benefit as she suffers from her battle with it, and she bravely throws her wig down as she is overwhelmed and disposed of a lot of stigma involving women living in shame from their battle with cancer. Her countless other moments of living 100% unapologetically have taught me to live for myself, as she lives to please herself while also treating her friends like gold. Standing up for her friends in terms of boys, bar fights, and any scrutiny they face, she holds herself and her friends to a commendable amount of respect and would never let a man come in between them. Her sex positivity all throughout the series is refreshing and affirming. She does not shame herself or her friends for their romantic involvement, and has erased some stigma of female pleasure.

It is hard to watch this series without getting the shuddering FOMO of the tight-knit friendship that all four girls have, and their perseverance through rough patches with so much empathy and maturity towards one another. Their countless moments represent so much love and respect regardless of their issues over both serious and unserious matters; they all know how much they would do for one another. All characters strive to see each other succeed whether it is with marriages, careers, or passions, and will support each other in the end. Although Samantha has only made a cameo appearance in the spin-off show And Just Like That…, their bond will always be represented as nothing but love and unity, and as one of my favourite depictions of friendship and womanhood on television. My definite example of this bond would be after Carrie’s 35th birthday party didn’t go as planned, but the core four united to make it special and declared each other their soulmates (season 4×1).

Whether this inspires you to start the show and their movies or not (or give it a well-deserved re-watch), it touches upon so many aspects of women in their twenties and thirties that are extremely valuable, and make you laugh A LOT.

Bianca Giacoboni is a writer at McMaster University's Her Campus. Bianca is starting as a writer in her fourth year at McMaster, and majoring in Honours Political Science. As a Political Science major, Bianca does a lot of research and writing on various topics such as digital and public policy, but also heavily enjoys writing about everything in between. She is very interested in a career in the public policy sector, as well as journalism and communications. In her free time, Bianca loves spending time with her dogs Bella and Gigi, and loves to read. Writing and journaling is a big passion, and hopes she can connect to readers of all kinds.