I wrote this post about a week ago and put it down. I wasn’t entirely sure where I was heading as the words were spilling out, although I did feel very Carrie-esque while doing so. Here goes.
Last night, I watched the Sex and the City movie for possibly the 25th time because you cannot NOT watch it when it’s on, right!? If you are a girl that grew up in the late 90s and inspired to be an “independent, opinionated, fashionable, going-against-the-status-quo,” woman, then this was THE show for you. I remember having countless sleepovers with my best friend, starting with a trip to Blockbuster where we would rent out entire seasons and binge watch episodes for hours on end, fantasizing how our lives would be in college and early twenties. Sex and the City glorified the independent women as someone who can [and should] sleep freely with men, spend ridiculous money on designer items even when she couldn’t necessarily afford it, and not be bound by societies set norms and expectations for women.
Although I don’t necessarily disagree with all of the messages that were being sent through this show, in fact I do applaud them for being so bold, I do see some flaws in what was once my inspiration for a role model. And sure, maybe a role model is not the correct term – but it still was someone that girls watched, related to, and inspired to be… whether they are willing to admit it or not.
As us 90’s kids have now entered into our mid-20s and are living THE dream, if you will, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the ideals that were previously set and glorified, contrasted to reality. Do we really feel empowered and independent doing the shame walk at 7:00AM? [hopefully you are not walking at 4:00AM…] And sure, all those shoes Carrie bought made her happy, but what about when she couldn’t afford to buy back her own tiny apartment after a messy breakup, shamefully admitting at 30+ she only had $800 in her bank account. I’m of course not wrapping myself into monetary gains, but shouldn’t a woman that proclaims herself as independent be smart with her money? But these things are minor details to the biggest issue I have – Mr. Big. The “love story” between Carrie and Mr. Big was so flawed, from the moment they broke up for the first time, and second, and third… As she dated guys throughout her life [for 10+ years] Mr. Big always came back like a tornado, ruining any sense of closure for Carrie. So she went back and back, experiencing each heartbreak worse and worse each time, until of course he left her at the alter. He apologized, naturally, and Carrie wasted yet another year of her life sulking and being depressed on HOW could he possible do that to her, and they eventually end up again together, happily this time.
… Oh but then she runs into Aiden and cheats on Mr. Big real quick. But regrets it.
As I was contemplating all of this, essentially questioning my upbringing all together, Darren Star, the show’s creator, gives an interview in which he said that he thought Carrie Bradshaw should not have gotten her happy ending with Mr. Big. “I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don’t ultimately find happiness from marriage,” Darren said, “Not that they can’t.
WHAT!? So then where will I find my happiness? Should I revert back a few paragraphs to shame walk at 7:00AM?? … perhaps we should rename the walk.