On becoming a UniSex editor for CUB while in New York, the first thing my friend said to me was, ‘Oh my god, you’re Carrie Bradshaw.’ Minus the conveyor belt of hot guys, collection of designer shoes and the daily visits to fancy restaurants, I accepted my new nickname; Carrie. However, I had to admit, I’d never actually watched a single episode of Sex and the City. My friend, let’s call her Samantha, decided that this was unacceptable, and so we began our SATC marathon. Where else would be a better place to watch it than the very city that they run around in? Three seasons in and a trip to Carrie Bradshaw’s house later, it’s fair to say I’m hooked. I only wonder why I’d never watched it sooner.
Despite first airing in 1998 and ending over a decade ago, I was surprised at how current the show is; there are so many issues the women deal with that are so relevant today. From discussions about body image to gender relations, each episode covers a topic that our society still struggles with today. It’s actually quite disappointing that it still feels so contemporary; we as a society clearly have not progressed so far in the past twenty years as I’d thought we had. However, I believe that the show’s general discussions revolving around men, relationships and sex will always be relevant, and will always be relatable.
The best thing about the show is how extremely different the four women are from each other; no matter who you are, you will find traits of yourself in at least one of the women. They each have a distinct perspective on sex and relationships, which results in incredibly compelling debates that should still be discussed today; this also means that the show doesn’t suggest a right or wrong way of viewing a situation. You might disagree with their choices, but at least the show makes you question why you disagree, and what would you do differently, put in their position.
One thing that stood out to me was how in all of their discussions, and sometimes, arguments, the question of the number of men they sleep with is never even brought up. It’s just not an issue. It’s as though they live in a world where the concept of being a slut doesn’t even exist; consequently, there is no slut shaming, whatsoever. They are four women supporting each other in all their endeavours, never for a second judging the quantity. (The quality is another story.) In this sense, the show is really progressive, and portrays an attitude we should all embrace.
Whether you’re a Charlotte or a Samantha, the general behaviour of the group is admirable. If we were all as open minded and as uncritical as the four women, the world would be a better place. However, on the flip side, Sex and the City teaches what not to do as much as it does what to do. Watching the women trying to work out the mystery of men while making mistakes along the way is a valuable lesson. While you’re shouting at Carrie to not go back to Mr. Big, it makes you wonder, what would you do?
Sex and the City is like a rite of passage; almost like a guidebook on how to navigate the world of sex and relationships, particularly as a young woman in a big city. Again, probably minus the shoes and restaurants, but potentially, (and hopefully) keeping the hot guys in the equation. I wonder if the metaphorical guidebook is applicable to British guys?