I often remark on here that rather too many women thought Sex and the City was a documentary. I’ve now found an article that shows I wasn’t exaggerating:
When the last episode of “Sex and the City” aired in February 2004, I hosted a viewing party for 200 guests. It was my swan song as well: Eight months later, I would move to New York, where, armed with my “Sex and the City” DVDs, my transformation really began.
Based on what I knew from “SATC,” I expected the city to sweep me off my feet. I envisioned nonstop brunching and shopping.
What always surprises me about these stories is the lack of friends and family who try to talk some sense into them.
I lived on food bought for me on dates and the occasional bodega tuna sandwich. For clothes, it was wrap dresses from Diane von Furstenberg sample sales combined with loans from designers who took pity on me — like Betsey Johnson, whom I’d interviewed at Fashion Week. Different men I dated gave me YSL shoes and status purses, just like Big did for Carrie on “SATC.”
She’s relying on “dates” for food and clothes. Yay for female empowerment!
I also subscribed to Carrie’s ethos when it came to men. There was no such thing as a bad date — only a good date or a good brunch story. In my writing, I gave my boyfriends nicknames (one was “Prom King”) just like Carrie and her friends did.
I went out with a prince: Lorenzo Borghese from “The Bachelor.” I even dated the British ex-boyfriend of “Sex and the City” creator Candace Bushnell — the original Carrie. He was one of a few men who comprised the composite character Mr. Big.
A common feature among women who spent a decade sleeping around is their belief that anyone is in the slightest bit interested in their exploits. Seriously, does anyone care who she was shagging in New York a decade ago? She didn’t even manage to screw a household name.
Between 2004 and 2011, I filmed nine TV pilots — many of which were reality shows, and all of which were a derivation of some kind of “SATC” role for me. I was always the Carrie. In one pilot, I hosted for Animal Planet; the premise was that your dog would choose whom you’d go out with.
One can’t honestly say at this point that getting the dog’s input is a bad idea.
Their core complaint about me was that I was a quote-unquote “fame whore.”
I suspect many of your female contemporaries thought that description contained one word too many.
Finally, I cut my ties to New York and moved to San Francisco full-time in 2013. I tried being a tech columnist and writing a personal-growth book called “Experiments in Happiness.”
Which sits on my shelf beside Paul Gascoigne’s book “Experiments in Sobriety”.
These days I work as a change activist, mounting summits for world leaders and serving as an adviser to startups and entrepreneurs looking to better the planet.
So she’s found religion. Sadly she’s not locked herself away in a convent.
I’m finally living a life of integrity, and I’m attuned to my values. I never heard about values on “Sex and the City.”
I dated a woman for a while, a beautiful entrepreneur who was also jilted by New York — that’s definitely not something you saw Carrie do.
How edgy. No sign of mental disorder here at all, oh no.
But dating is not front and center in my life anymore, although it was all I talked about in my 20s. That’s pretty one-dimensional.
Last year, I ended a two-year relationship with a man who ultimately couldn’t commit and wanted to be polyamorous.
Heh! I suspect he could commit, only not with someone who spent a decade shagging random men in New York in return for food and clothes. And why wait two years? Desperation much?
Again, “SATC” and the “lessons” it taught me is the culprit.
It wasn’t supposed to be a lifestyle manual. And as Daniel Ream often points out, the book was far more realistic in its portrayal of single life in New York than the TV series was, and ought to have served as a warning.
The show wasn’t a rubric on how to find a lifelong partnership.
You don’t say!
If I was more grounded and had honestly assessed whether this man was a good partner for me, I don’t think we ever would have dated.
So it’s the fault of a TV show which concluded in her early twenties that she dated an unsuitable man in her mid-thirties? For all the talk of female empowerment, a lot of these modern women don’t seem to have quite grasped the whole personal responsibility thing, have they? Nor do they seem to understand that the choices you make in your twenties stay with you for life.
Crushed and needing to regroup, I took a sabbatical and lived in Bali for eight months on a healing journey.
I was also celibate during my time there.
Much to the disappointment of knuckle-dragging Australian youths in beer singlets.
I do wonder what my life would have looked like if “Sex and the City” had never come across my consciousness.
I don’t know, but I’m confident if you got lost in the Arctic wilderness you’d blame Ice Road Truckers.
Perhaps I’d be married with children now?
Given your appalling judgement, immaturity, and lack of impulse control I’d say that’s highly unlikely.
Who knows, but I can say for sure that, as clever and aesthetically pleasing as the show was — and, as much as I agree with its value of female friendships — it showed too much consumerism and fear of intimacy disguised as empowerment.
Modern feminism is rather good at disguising all manner of vices and self-destructive behaviour as empowerment.
Whom you’re dating, what you’re wearing, or how good you look at that premiere — none of that s–t matters unless you genuinely love yourself. Solid relationships are what really matter.
Truth be told, I wish I had never heard of “SATC.” I’m sure there are worse role models but, for me, it did permanent and measurable damage to my psyche that I’m still cleaning up.
As useful a description of the effects of modern feminism as you’re likely to find.
Two months ago, I started seeing someone I never would have dated 10 years earlier.
A whole two months? How long to you think she can hide the disgust?
Back then, I wasn’t looking to get married or seek a lifelong partner, and that was a mistake. This man is a very reasonable choice, and I’m at a place in my life where reasonable is very sexy.
Now, I feel like genuine me — I’m no longer a Carrie Bradshaw knockoff.
No, you’re now Samantha. Congratulations!