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New Line Cinema

Candace Bushnell: The Woman Behind Carrie Bradshaw

We all know Carrie Bradshaw. The iconic golden curly hair and the phenomenal style. The success and ambition. The three friends and long list of relationships. But who is the woman behind this iconic character, and how similar is she to the Carrie we all know and love? Turns out, Candace Bushnell is the OG Carrie Bradshaw.

This Saturday, I went to Bushnell’s new show, Is There Still Sex in the City? It came as no surprise that the author behind Bradshaw lived a jam-packed life full of fashion, writing, and men just like the character herself. In fact, Bushnell moved to New York City at the age of 19 and began her writing career then and there. Bushnell’s writing was not an automatic success, but she never gave up on herself or her abilities. With her persistence, Bushnell became the New York Times Bestselling author she is today, creating a cultural legacy in the process. 

As for her personal account, Bushnell did not fail to live up to Bradshaw’s dating life, and she even had her own Mr. Big! However, this is where the roads for the two women diverge. While Bradshaw gave Mr. Big a second chance, Bushnell became Mr. Big herself. Bushnell says, “I don’t want to be with Mr. Big, I want to be Mr. Big,” and I think that is something that everyone should prioritize, becoming their own ideal.

While Bradshaw and Bushnell may have had different endings with Mr. Big, they both put a major emphasis on one of the most important relationships you have in your life. Bradshaw once said, “the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself,” and no one except Bushnell herself could have said it better. No matter how tumultuous or disorderly our lives are, we always have ourselves. This is the relationship we need to build and value.

There is another major takeaway I had from both of these women. While stumbling in and out of relationships and jobs, Bushnell had one other constant: her friends. If there is one thing that Bushnell and Bradshaw ever taught me, it’s that life does not revolve around the relationships you have with men. Rather, it is the ones you have with family, friends, and yourself that truly leave a lasting impression on your life. Bradshaw proclaimed, “they say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” No matter the weather, friendships are always in season and maybe, Manolo Blahniks too.

Ariana Sorkin

Rutgers '25

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