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TV/Film Are we all trying to be Carrie Bradshaw right now?

Jan. 4, 2022
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Lately, it seems like all of my friends have been rewatching Sex and the City because of the reboot. They’re fully obsessed—as if it's their first time watching the series. My friends are fawning over stills, and Carrie Bradshaw is definitely experiencing a cultural renaissance, too. As my peers and I all come into our early twenties in New York, are we resonating with the iconic TV series in a new way? Lately, my life has been filled with drinks at downtown patios, window-shopping with friends, and gossip about sex, dating, and adulthood; after all of this I go home, climb into bed, and rewatch what I essentially had just done that day through the rose-colored lenses of Carrie and her posse. Are we relating with or aspiring for the lifestyle? The bleak NYC dating pool? Simply the aesthetics? Whatever it is, Carrie’s been having a moment.

The sheer amount of SATC-related content on social media is a testament to this revival. In the midst of a passionate return to ‘90s and Y2K fashion aesthetics, compounded with the aforementioned quarantine hobby of rewatching SATC, pop culture has produced a perfect storm for Carrie Bradshaw to once again rise as an emblem of style—just as she was for women of the previous generation. Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new influencer or account inspired by the show.

One of the pioneers of this cultural revival is @everyoutfitonsatc, an Instagram account self-described as “a quest to document every outfit on Sex and the City.” This includes a podcast, analysis of hundreds of Carrie’s outfits, and the assertion that “we should all be Mirandas” in the form of original content and merch. The account admins even created a #WokeCharlotte series to bring the show’s sometimes dated, politically incorrect jokes into 21st-century discussion. Our returned attention to SATC as a TV series is now coupled with a desire to adapt what we loved about the series into a more socially conscious context.

All it takes is a Google search for “Carrie Bradshaw” to see how much we continue to idolize the decades-old series. When I clicked on the “News” tab while writing this piece, the articles I saw weren’t relics of the last SATC movie release over ten years ago; what appeared were thinkpieces from a week or even twelve hours ago. 

Hype about the series revival currently being filmed in New York has certainly inspired a plethora of write-ups about the show’s best moments, but Carrie seems to inspire a unique excitement unlike any other star. Marie Claire published an article about personalized necklaces by a contemporary brand, and their main endorsement was that Carrie would love them; L'Officiel’s piece on the history of clogs cites Bradshaw’s funky footwear, illustrating the far reach of SATC into fashion and media. Whenever Sarah Jessica Parker announces on Instagram that she’ll be at her shoe store in Manhattan, I see my classmates flooding downtown to “see Carrie Bradshaw.” The cultural revival of SATC has united generations, as women born decades apart are all excited to see Carrie on screen again.

In the middle of writing this piece, I found myself scrolling through Instagram and stumbling across a still from Sex and the City. A TikTok-viral boutique in lower Manhattan posted Carrie and Samantha at a quintessential Sunday brunch with the caption “Sunday brunch is for the girls 💅🥂.” With this everyday inundation of the SATC aesthetic, it seems like the show and its protagonists’ style have gone beyond the universe of television, assuming their role as broad cultural icons. In that post, Carrie and Samantha weren’t within the context of the TV series that made them exist in the first place. Instead, SATC is invoked as an embodiment of a COVID-free lifestyle of fashion, pleasure, and the joy of frivolity. 

In 2017, Leandra Medine Cohen, the founder of now-defunct fashion site Man Repeller, mused in a podcast that she hoped women felt about Man Repeller the the way she felt “when she watched Sex and the City: less alone.” Perhaps viewers of all ages just want to watch female friendship play out against a chic Manhattan backdrop, or maybe it’s a revived fascination with 2000s fashion, or maybe SATC is just great background noise. Regardless of the reason behind the unfailing devotion to the show, the reboot has emerged just in time for pop culture’s Carrie craving. Until then, I’ll be walking downtown, dreaming of Manolos and Sunday brunch.