I watched Sex and the City for the first time when I was about 13 years old – a very formative age for young girls. The lives of Carrie Bradshaw and her three best friends seemed thrilling – living in New York, having your dream career, dating lots of beautiful men, etc. As a naturally curly headed writer myself, I connected with Carrie as a character in a way that I still haven’t trumped today. It was then and there, at 2 a.m. on a Friday night in 8th grade, that I decided I was going to move to New York, work at a kick ass women’s magazine, live bravely and fearlessly, and find the man of my dreams. It wasn’t until my 6th rewatch of the entire series, now at 19, that I realized this show, and its characters, actually kind of suck.
(Mine and Carrie Bradshaw’s uncanny resemblance) Source: writer.
And Carrie? She’s the worst of them all.
I KNOW, OKAY. I KNOW. But listen…
1. She’s actually a terrible writer. I can’t even count how many times the phrase “and I wondered”… was used throughout this entire show.
2. She’s irresponsible with money and not in a quirky way.
3. Always the victim, it’s as if she’s the 90’s Taylor Swift.
4. How do I put this lightly… she’s an awful friend (leaving Miranda in the middle of a medical emergency, venting about her love life while Samantha is getting chemo, etc., etc.) Don’t get me wrong; she offers up some serious life lessons and wonderful fashion tips, but when you start to look at her through a critical lens, you’re left a little disappointed.
Let’s get another thing straight: Sex and the City’s brand of feminism isn’t ideal. Yes, Sex and the City was one of the first shows to offer up a (sometimes) realistic story with women at it’s front and center, and while their experiences and representation were important and groundbreaking at the time, we’re able to see now just how problematic it often was. The show is riddled with slut shaming (mostly directed at Samantha), bi-phobic comments, unnecessary competition between women, and the idea that a man somehow makes you compete.
Despite all of that, this show lit a fire within me that still burns, although a bit subdued, to this day. Carrie encouraged and inspired a love of fashion, a love for Paris, and a deep gratification for the other strong women in my life. Was she perfect? No. Were any of them perfect? Definitely not. But part of that is being able to look at their mistakes and learn from them; kind of like your own.
And am I grateful to this show, and Carrie Bradshaw, for that?
And did I totally just binge watch it the other night?