Fresh off a good cry, with cartons of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and bottles of wine, my girlfriends and I, like we always do after someone goes through a breakup, pull out the entire DVD (yes DVD!) series of “Sex and the City” and play it from the beginning. What better way to spend an entire weekend than with our favorite girls Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, and of course, Mr. Big. Like many friend groups, we always talk about which one out of our friends relates the most to the characters in the show. Naturally, we all fight about which one of us is Carrie, but eventually assume our character positions that we are matched with. (Can you guess which one I am?) The four main characters in the series perfectly display a little bit of me in different situations which is why I love watching the show so much. The show made its debut in 1998, almost two decades ago and it is still one of the most relatable shows for women on television. The show, as the article I am Woman Hear me Roar: Gender Representation in Sex and the City states that it aims to dismiss female stereotypes by encouraging women to have the right to sexual pleasure and live in a place of independence where they have ownership of the ‘gaze’ and men are the sex objects.
According to the article, Sex and the City Screws with Feminism, the creator of the show Candace Bushnell is a feminist, encouraging the “second wave of feminism” – the embodiment of sexual liberation for the new millennium. Bushnell, on her show states that “Sex and the City is a show about female choice, not female rejection. All the straight men are crazy. Women viewers get the naughty thrill of seeing their own gender portrayed for once as sane, sentient and decent, while men are trolls and buffoons, mommy’s boys and neurotics.”
As I talk about the breakup that just occurred with my friend, I first relate the most to Miranda Hobbes. Her cynical viewpoint on men and relationships is how I first approach the breakup. “Soulmates only exist in the Hallmark aisle!” Miranda states, and boy do I agree with this quote right now! Miranda is always there to talk with her friends about men, no matter how many times they need it, and is not afraid to tell the brutal truth when you actually need to hear. “Jesus, every time you get near him, you turn into this pathetic, needy, insecure victim. What pisses me off the most is that you are more than willing to go back for more.” I swear I used this exact same quote from Miranda at least 10 times before my friend and her (now ex) boyfriend finally broke up for good!
After being cynical and downright depressing about the fact that their relationship was probably doomed from the start, I move on to start acting more like Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie is very good at encouraging her friends that whatever happens it is going to be OK and that the most important thing is that you can be happy with yourself without having to be with a man. Although she is off and on again with the ever-so-dreamy Mr. Big, she points out (like I did to my friend) that “being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.”
With this said, I turn it over to the flourishing single woman in this show, Samantha Jones. Samantha is a women with great sexual pride, and she is not afraid to talk about it with her girlfriends. She is very adamant on not getting married, and at age 50 is still smoking hot and having sex with a multitude of beautiful men. She encourages her friends to try new things, and put themselves out there, especially after relationships end. It is true you have to get over your ex somehow! She makes sure to keep her friends in check, and is the girl you call to tell all of your craziness to. Samantha Jones could never judge anyone since she has probably done it all ten times worse! What’s great about Samantha is she is able to view her mistakes as learning experiences, which is very important when talking about how to move on from a breakup.
With all of this said, our conversation ends with a little bit of Charlotte. Charlotte is the most conservative of the group, hopeful to find her perfect man. She is old fashioned about love and marriage but always takes her friends situations into consideration and turns them into optimism. She has a huge heart and compassion that makes any girl feel loved by her friends which is necessary when feeling heartbroken over a boy.
As my friends and I sit together, chatting away about how we wonder if we’ll ever find our Mr. Big, I think back to something Charlotte said to the rest of the girls. “Don’t laugh at me, but maybe we can be each other’s soul mates. And then we can let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with.” And in that moment, I knew my friends and I will get through this heartbreak together like we have with every other in the past and every other that will come in the future.