When you think of Sex And The City, you almost always think of the fashion. Carrie’s vintage Chanel boots, the Fendi handbag and of course, her longstanding obsession with Manolo Blahniks is the heart and soul of the show, with the columnists love for fashion almost trumping her love of, well, love.
One issue that has always been hotly contested, however, is how on earth Carrie afforded it all. Clothes and shoes aside, Carrie was living alone in a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side, dining on brunch and Cosmopolitans almost nightly and dropping a wild amount of cash at every fashion boutique in the city — not to mention she refused to take the subway, meaning daily cab fares. While, yes, we understand that shows aren’t designed to be hyper-realistic, this seemed like a huge stretch.
Over the years, the original show has frequently come under fire for its classist attitudes and unrealistic representations of living in New York. Behind the glitz and glamour, it was often a show which promoted the lives of rich white women running around Manhattan and spending beyond their means, and it’s relatability factor was almost entirely in the bin. Now, after several decades, a recent comment from Candace Bushnell might just change your mind (a little).
Speaking to The New Yorker, Bushnell revealed what she was being paid as a columnist in the nineties, and it’s probably a lot more than any of us were imagining.
“In the nineties, for me — it was a real time for media,” she told the publication. “I worked for Vogue, writing the “People Are Talking About” column, and got paid five thousand dollars a month. The Observer paid less, but I could afford that, because of Vogue. I mean, this was a time that writers were getting a Vanity Fair contract for six pieces and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. People valued writing; it wasn’t considered something everyone can do. Now, because of the computer, everyone has to do it, so we think everyone can do it.”
Shocked? So were we. But the revelation definitely sheds new light on Carrie’s notorious nineties lifestyle and all the perks that came along with it. Given that her rent-controlled apartment was said to cost $750 a month, she’d have plenty left over if she was making that kind of coin.
So, in light of the shocking news, it seems that maybe Carrie wouldn’t have been facing bucketloads of debt after all. Who knew that being a columnist in the nineties was an incredibly lucrative career path? Well, Candace Bushnell did, obviously.
At the end of the day, Carrie’s lifestyle is still nowhere near the realm of realistic, but it definitely feels a little more understandable. That being said, we won’t be taking finance advice from her anytime soon.