Character Study: Carrie Bradshaw

I was never a strict follower of Sex and the City when it was on TV, but as I continue to blog my feelings I’m starting to develop a new appreciation for Carrie Bradshaw. No, I don’t get paid even the meager pittance of a weekly columnist for my writing (as if that could have supported her NYC lifestyle anyway), but like Carrie I spend a lot of time translating thoughts and observations from my life onto the page.

Carrie wasn’t my favorite character on the show – in fact she was the character who annoyed me most – but she did have a way of following her own path to things that I admired. She socialized frequently with friends, boyfriends, and coworkers, but also kept to herself and ordered takeout before a deadline. I liked seeing those moments because as much as we all want to believe that our lives will be the non-stop party we see on TV, we also must recognize and understand that what we don’t see is equally as important. Sex and the City actually showed a little bit of that “normal boring life” around the edges and I appreciated that for the truth that it was.

At the center of every character is a personal space unique to them and that’s often overlooked because its far less exciting, even if it’s actually more real. Just because a TV show (Girls excluded) doesn’t typically feature people using the bathroom, that doesn’t mean that the characters don’t, right? It just means that it isn’t interesting to watch. So there’s no shame in admitting that you go home at the end of the night to watch Netflix or make yourself dinner – everyone does it.

Recently I started watching the prequel series: The Carrie Diaries. It’s by no means an HBO smash hit, but it has actually made me like Carrie more. Seeing where she came from and all the things she went through as a kid helps me to understand her better. Sure, she has just about the best luck known to man (running into the Style editor of Interview magazine couldn’t be just a coincidence), but people are also drawn to her bubbly personality. Carrie dazzles them with her adorable face and a winning smile, and then they stick around because at the end of the day she’s a great friend – even to people she doesn’t really like.

I also really love that the show begins to address some unanswered questions from the original series. We find out how Carrie meets some of her best friends – Samantha Jones and Stanford Blatch to name a few – and also how she began a career in writing and nurtured her love of fashion. That said, it also leads to newer questions, too. Where do Charlotte and Miranda fit into the big picture and why don’t any of Carrie’s friends from high school link back to the original story line? If they’re all such good friends, then how could she lose touch with them all?

I never used to think that I wanted to be anything like Carrie. I thought she was shallow and too quick to give herself over into her relationships. But the more I watch the prequel and the more involved with my writing I become, the more I realize that there’s a lot to appreciate about her character. Carrie succeeds at giving people the benefit of the doubt and trusts her feelings way more than I do, even as she overanalyzes them in her weekly columns. So to be honest, I could do a whole lot worse than to have her for a role model.

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