When I watched Sex And The City for the first time, I identified with Carrie more than any of the four women. I definitely related to Samantha and Charlotte and occasionally Miranda, but it was almost terrifying watching Carrie because her character hit so close to home. Yes, she is a character on television and yes, she makes poor life choices some times, but don’t we all?
Carrie Bradshaw gets a lot of hate. People think she is vapid, fiscally irresponsible, centers her life around men, glorifies men an unhealthy amount, and even that she is unattractive. But in my opinion, the real reason Carrie Bradshaw gets so much hate is because of how openly she presents her flaws and her personal screw-ups. When you’re watching a movie, or a television show, or even listening to a song, the hardest things to watch or listen to are the things that point out our own flaws and our own Achilles heels. We are afraid of facing our own fatal flaws and therefore when it is pointed out in such a public way, even though it’s not directly calling us out, it makes you think about what you’re doing in your own life.
When Carrie continually uses her paychecks to buy expensive shoes and clothes instead of saving and investing, many believe her to be a fiscally irresponsible, typical female. I know many women that do this, including myself. Do I consider myself bad with money? Absolutely not. My bills get paid on time and I am not in debt — but if I wanted to use a part of my paycheck to build my closet because that is something I’m passionate about, I would. I don’t see anyone criticizing people who invest their money with each paycheck because it’s something they like to do. Carrie invests her money in shoes and clothes because that’s what she loves.
Carrie is criticized because she seemingly revolves her life around men. Let’s not forget that Carrie is a sex columnist and writes about dating each week. If that was your job, I’m pretty sure you’d have to continually be dating a lot, too. Don’t most people spend a good portion of their lives looking for someone they want to spend the rest of their life with? Yes, it might not be your first priority but it’s a priority at some point in your life.
On the same note, Sex And The City is a show about women, their friendship with each other, and exploring their dating lives. It makes sense that a majority of the show revolves around relationships. I don’t think of Carrie as an unintelligent woman because she dates a lot of people. I think of her as someone who is learning a lot about herself and figuring out what she really wants based on different experiences with each of these men.
Does Carrie Bradshaw glorify men? Does she give them a substantial amount of power over her? Honestly, she probably does a little bit of both, but is there a single person that exists that hasn’t done that at one point in their lives? Haven’t all of us, at one point in our lives, given a significant other much more power than they deserve? Loving someone automatically gives them power: they’re that much more able to hurt you or make you feel wonderful. Yes, you also have the power to determine how you let it effect yourself, but I think people forget this when watching Sex And The City. We’ve all had a moment when we think we have hit the lowest of low because someone we cared about threw up a fifty foot barbed wire fence and suffocated all feeling out of us with their words. Carrie opens up and lets us see how this effects her: she may want to get drunk and cry a lot, but haven’t we all had those nights? She may want to go out on a date with someone new right away; haven’t we all done that?
Yes, Carrie Bradshaw is a television character. Yes, she has flaws and is obviously a bit of an exaggeration of flaws that humans have. But in my opinion, she gets entirely too much hate. She presents real shortcomings that we may see in ourselves every day, and I for one like to watch television I feel I can relate to. And if identifying with Carrie Bradshaw means I feel comfortable enough with my flaws to see them presented on a television show millions identify with, then I think I’m okay with that.