In a haze of jet lag and New York fever, this weekend I decided to dig out my old copies of Sex and the City and relive one of my all time favourite television shows. I know most girls can relate to this, but when I became a writer and I lived in a city centre apartment by myself, I genuinely thought I was Carrie Bradshaw reincarnated. When I used to smoke (I quit five years ago by the way kids, smoking isn’t cool) I actually smoked Malborough Lights because Carrie did. What a loser. From 1998 to 2004, Carrie and Co were the ultimate icons.
So last Saturday it was like stepping back in time, with my old DVD player (no Ultra HD TV Panasonic for Victoria back in the day), curling up with some popcorn, wearing my huge flower corsage. Watching the show back, I was reminded of all the reasons I had so much love for these four women. There hadn’t really been a TV show prior to Sex and the City which touched on so many subjects and trends relevant to a girl growing up in her late teens and early twenties. So many lessons that are still significant today.
1. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart
You’ve no doubt had your own Mr Big at some point. I know I certainly did. Your friends tell you he’s wrong for you. He doesn’t treat you in the way he should. But you love him. Mr Big was a complete commitment-phobe, but Carrie just couldn’t seem to get over him. He was her one. Sometimes, even though there are bad times aplenty, those fleeting moments of love mean you just have to follow your heart.
2. But don’t dismiss the nice guy
Aiden was the ultimate good guy. In all honesty, if I had a choice between Big and Aiden, it would have been the creative, laid back nature of Aiden that would have captured my heart. He was the guy you might have dismissed in your twenties, when the thrill of the chase was too exciting to ignore, but as I get further into my thirties, I’ve come to realise there’s something to be said about having a “nice guy”.
3. Don’t let trends define you
I adored how Carrie dressed, especially in the earlier seasons when her wardrobe was more vintage than designer. I mean, how many fashion trends came from SATC? We all loved flower corsages, studded belts and I bet at least one person here wore a tutu at some point in the early noughties. The great thing about SATC is that all four girls had their personal style honed to a tee – some viewers loved Carrie, but other’s loved the structured, preppy wardrobe choices of Charlotte. Heck, I bet some people even like Miranda’s. The lesson here was not to be defined by trends, embrace your figure, wear what suits you, and more importantly what you love.
4. Chicks before dicks
Having a close knit group of friends is one of the most important things you can have in life. Each of the four women brought something special to this friendship group. Carrie brought the glamour, Samantha brought the fun, Charlotte the kindness and Miranda the honesty. When Carrie was being completely self-obsessed, Miranda was the one that brought her back to earth. When Charlotte had a problem in the bedroom, Samantha was on hand to give advice.
5. It’s OK to disagree
Sometimes friends don’t have the same view point. And that’s OK. SATC made me realise that even though you don’t agree with everything your best friend says or does, you can still have a great relationship. Friendships are about honesty.
6. There’s a Samantha Jones in all of us
Until the premiere of SATC, there wasn’t really a TV show that focused solely on the female side of sex. The emotions, the tales, the fact that women like to go out and have sex too, just like men. Samantha Jones was a revelation to many. Sometimes you just need to put your needs first, whether that be in the bedroom or your career, for example – go out there and do what makes your happy.
7. Be financially stable
We all remember the episode where Carrie realises she’s spent $40,000 on shoes, yet is nearly homeless after her and Aiden breakup. You can have beautiful possessions but you also need to be able to be financially secure to be able to afford a roof over your head. If you don’t have a savings account, no matter how big or small, by the time you’re thirty, you need to get your shit in order.
8. It’s OK to be single
One of the main things SATC showed women of our generation was that we didn’t need to be in a relationship. We didn’t need to worry about marrying young and having a family like our mums’ did. We could be alone and still be happy. If someone isn’t right for you, you can leave and if you’re not fulfilled, then you had the power to change that. And as Ms Bradshaw said, “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself, and if you can find someone to love the you you love, well that’s just fabulous.”
I’m sure there were so many more lessons that Carrie and co taught us along the way, but I wanted to bring together eight key ones that relate to life today. Were you a SATC fan? If you could relate to any of the girls who would it be? And make sure you check out my New York travel diary if you’re looking to visit the concrete jungle where the four girls met.