Growing up with Sex and the City on constant rotation in the background of my life, I’m avidly aware that when it comes to picking which character you are on the show, I’ve always been classed as a Carrie.
While it’s mostly to do with the fact that we’re both professional writers (although I’m still trying to work out how she managed to fund her wardrobe by writing approximately one column a week), in recent years being called a Carrie has become more of an insult than a compliment.
Of course, I’ll always have a soft spot for Bradshaw and sympathise with the fact that she’d rather spend her rent money on shoes, but watching reruns of Sex and the City in the year 2020 makes me cringe at how much she focuses on dating, relationships and Mr Big.
As Miranda Hobbes so eloquently put it, “All we talk about anymore is Big or balls or small dicks. How does it happen that four such smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends?”
Not to mention, the fact that Carrie’s an “I don’t leave Manhattan” person (who legitimately tried to order a cosmopolitan in the McDonalds’ drive-through), or that she slut-shames Samantha after having an affair with Big while he’s married, or that she’s just all round a pretty bad friend, who talks about men while Samantha is getting chemo and sends her boyfriend to Miranda’s during a medical emergency.
SATC fans’ opinions of Cynthia Nixon’s character, the ambitious, androgynous lawyer and sometime single mum, started changing a few years ago, but that shift was cemented with the creation of the Every Outfit On SATC Instagram account and the release of their ‘We should all be Mirandas’ t-shirt, given the thumbs up by none other than Nixon and Kristin Davis (AKA Charlotte York).
While Carrie told us that life is about owning a shoe closet that’s worth more than a house – and finding a man to pay for a new walk-in-wardrobe, Miranda taught us that there was more to life. She focused on her career by getting a Harvard law degree and eventually making partner at a male dominated law firm, got married and moved to Brooklyn for love, had a child, and still maintained her friendships.
Charlotte, who spent most of the series trying to find a husband, had her own rebranding late last year with the creation of the #WokeCharlotte hashtag (yet another @everyoutfitonsatc masterpiece). Taking the then-borderline – and now way over the line – comments said by some of the characters, Woke Charlotte hits back, showing her friends the error of their ways and pointing out that they happen to be four affluent white women living in Manhattan apartments.
Remember when Carrie downright dismissed that bisexuality existed? Woke Charlotte replies with, “Bisexuality is a real sexual orientation. It’s not ‘just a phase’ and as a sex columnist you have a responsibility to educate yourself on queer issues.”
20 years on, it’s safe to say that a lot of what was considered okay in the late ’90s doesn’t fly in 2020, but at least we have Miranda and (Woke) Charlotte to fall back on whenever Carrie says something questionable.