Sex and the City: An essay on female friendship in the new millennium?

“No matter who broke your heart, you’ll never get through it without your friends.” – Carrie Bradshaw

Sex and the City.  It’s epic.  It is a point of reference for endless conversations about men, sex and shoes.  I cannot tell you many times certain episodes are referred to or quoted by my friends.  It seems like everything goes back to SATC, or at least we’d like for it to.

My mom once asked me (after seeing the movie and always scolding me for watching the episodes) what the big deal was, why it was SO popular with the women of my generation.  She wasn’t asking because she thought it was stupid (although I’m certain that she does actually think it’s stupid), but because she really wanted to get it.  I told her that ultimately, the show was a celebration of the enduring love of female friendship.  At the time, I think I just said that to make my obsession seem less ridiculous, but when you really think about it, the ladies of SATC were all about their friends.

In one episode, the girls decide they’re each others soul mates. This gave hope to single girls every where.  I’ll admit I have at one time or another clung to this idea — that my friends are the ones for me and a man is a bonus.  In Sex and the City 2, the movie, they talk about the soul mates thing a lot. Well, I guess they reference it more than discuss it but the point is still there.  Your girls are the family you’ve created for yourself.  They meet all the needs you have that a man just can’t.  (Or at least, I think that was the point.)

I think female friendships have evolved over the years to become more intense and important and lifelong than they were in the days of yore. (At least, discussions with my mom support this idea.)  Because women are marrying older these days (or at least that’s what I hear — don’t worry, people are still getting married at 19 here in the bible belt), they devote a lot more time to their female friendships in their 20s and early 30s than they might have had they been married and procreating during that time.*  More time spent being single means more dating, more heartache, and more soul-searching over cosmos or whatever the kids are drinking these days with your girlfriends.  And when your married friends are all paired off for couple-y activities on New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, etc., your single girlfriends are there to convince you to try on your skinny jeans, wash your hair and put on your lipstick for a fun night out.  And if you are really, really lucky, they are also there to peel you off the bathroom floor in the morning and lie to you, err, I mean tell you that you didn’t do anything embarrassing the night before.

SATC celebrates young, single, sparkly girls every where.  The ones who are still trying to figure it out and who use their girlfriends as their sounding board/lifeline/emergency contact.  It was okay to not always have a man because you had your friends.  (Until the end of the series when they all had a man, but that’s kind of missing the point…)  The girls were there for the hard stuff — broken engagements, divorce, cancer, family passing away, etc. — and all the good stuff in between — marriages, babies (seriously, how can you not love Brady Brady?!), career successes, and new homes.  I always felt like no matter what happened, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha came together and loved each other.  Sometimes in real life friendships don’t work out that way, but a girl can dream.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m pretty sure I’m Miranda.  Partially because she’s an attorney, but also because she says things like:

“Sexy is the thing I try to get them to see me as after I win them over with my personality.”

“How did it happen that four such smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends? It’s like seventh grade with bank accounts.”

“I don’t have enough time to tell you what’s wrong with corduroy.”

Also, she has a pretty dry sense of humor, she’s pretty neurotic, and she once at a cake out of the trash can. . . . =)

Do you think Sex and the City has a message?  Or am I reading way too much into it?  Which SATC lady are you most like? (And, I hate to break this to you, but we are not all Carrie, as much as we’d like to be!)

* Please note: I realize these are all gross generalizations.  Not all women have my experience.  And lots of women who marry young still devote a significant portion of their lives to their female friends.  I commend them for their efforts.  Young married ladies, if you still see us on the regular, your single friends will think you are super woman.


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