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May. 23 2010 - 5:11 pm | 1,015 views | 0 recommendations | 5 comments

Why women love Sex and the City

With the release of Sex and the City 2 just days away, the city is buzzing with the excitement of 20-something (and even 30 and 40-something) women breaking in their Manolos and laying out their outfits for the movie’s premiere, anxiously awaiting the iconic foursome’s next moves.

While most men treat the Sex and the City series as something akin to kryptonite to their masculinity, women cant get enough of it – although the show last ran on HBO in 2004, its six-year run still permeates with the women of New York. Today, Sex and the City reruns are replayed on primetime channels such as TBS, attracting a fresh new audience, albeit, a younger one at that – 20-somethings who were only prepubescent during the show’s first run.

The first movie, a follow up to the beloved series, was equally successful, making $55.7 million in its opening weekend in the United States alone – the highest ever for the opening of an R-rated film.

So the question is this – why is this particular series so beloved by audiences after all these years?

Realism can’t be it – its characters live in giant New York apartments with rents that could never be paid by a writer’s salary and wear couture gowns and $485 shoes. Their very lives seem to be perfectly scripted, complete with a tall, dark and handsome man showing up on the steps of their brownstone with a bunch of balloons or a Russian artist whisking them away to Paris for the summer or even posing for a 6-page fashion spread in Vogue. Real life isn’t like that and New York women know this

But women are willing to overlook these few slight flaws for one simple reason – the four women who make up the backbone of this enduring franchise play four distinct roles – one of which nearly every woman in the country can relate to.

Chances are if you ask any women on the streets of New York which Sex and the City character they are most like, they will only hesitate a few moments before – “I’m a Carrie!” from the free-spirited, soul-searching, couture-loving creative type; “Miranda,” from the high-powered, successful, yet still fashionable, and slightly pessimistic one. The sizzling sexpot who has sex apart from love and unabashedly embraces it claims she’s “Samantha, no doubt,” while the traditionally classy, marriage-believing optimist is solely and undoubtedly a Charlotte. (I’m a Carrie – contemplative blogger with a long dating history full of Carrie-esque anecdotes and even the same unruly blonde hair.)

If you look hard enough, you will see women congregating in fours strolling down the tree-lined streets of the Upper East Side, browsing through the vintage shops in the East Village or drinking dirty martinis (the updated version of the cosmopolitan) on the west side. These women are subconsciously playing the very same roles they first admired on the small screen. I too, am part of one of these foursomes.

The Sex and the City series provides women with distinct roles in their own lives – they’re the smart, snarky Miranda, or the contemplative, creative Carrie, the traditional Charlotte or maybe an unashamed sexpot like Samantha. Women manipulate themselves to fit into these roles, then apply these roles to their friends as well, creating a perfectly balanced – and glamorous – foursome.


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  1. collapse expand

    So true! Here at Emory University, we had a sociologist discuss the impact this franchise has had on today’s culture, and she described the archetypal vagueness of the characters that women can relate to and project themselves onto. Watch the interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg-D0vVs6bg

  2. collapse expand

    how many actual working women, especially women of color working in low-middle class jobs, identify with these 4 girls?

  3. collapse expand

    Are we going to draw the line between actually how representative these characters are and how much women idolize them?

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    An Ohio native, I'm currently a journalism graduate student at NYU. I've been published in media outlets such at The New York Daily News, Livewire, Pavement Pieces, US Weekly and the Record-Herald.

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