When I was in my early 20s, I was a fairly solid fan of Sex and the City. At the time, when I was in the midst of the post-college identity crisis, it embodied some of the urban sophistication I wanted to achieve when I grew up. Also, at the time, it was sort of a cutting edge TV show regarding sexual mores. And it taught Important Relationship Lessons involving easily understood archetypes that real life men could be mapped onto.
I am now 29. I now feel I have outgrown the show – and I’m not even the age that the characters were when the pilot came out. Now, when I watch it, I’m relieved to no longer be anywhere near that kind of existence. Watching it from here, as a grownup, I think – are these the sort of priorities I would have wanted to have in my thirties anyways? Probably not.
Now, watching the movie trailer, I just kind of want to throw up. This seems to exemplify every bad female stereotype possible. Did we backslide in the last ten years since the show started? Somehow, the show seems narrower – like the only options for a woman in life are to hang onto her youth through artificial, mentally and physically taxing means, or to get married and reproduce. Some women do both. But the whole thing strikes me as socially irrelevant and demeaning. The characters were always meant to represent female archetypes and characteristics themselves. But now it’s worse: now they represent cliches.
More complaining after the jump:
First of all, there’s the opening voice over. “After years of living in the city, I always assumed that if my friends and I ever got our fairy tale endings, that would be the end of the story.”
GOOD LORD that is just INANE. This character is supposed to be how old now, and she’s just realizing that it MIGHT NOT be the end of the story to get a “fairy tale ending”? And what defines “fairy tale ending” anyways? Weren’t there a couple of episodes at the start of Season 3 about NOT getting sucked into the fairy tale concept, and about how being independent took you beyond that ridiculousness. And finally, SINCE WHEN is marriage this big fairy tale ending, anyways? Last time I checked, it was really more of a beginning of a life with your significant other. It’s a transition to another chapter, not an ending. I think this whole happy ending concept is what makes women jump into marriages that aren’t for life, because pop culture makes it look like this static place you get to and stay in – as opposed to a dynamic experience that grows and changes over your lifetime.
And I feel really entitled to say this because I have what is, in magazines and books and movies and TV, called a “fairy tale” ending. Except it was never an ending. My life went on outside my marriage. Much of my life didn’t end, or even change. I made sure of that. I think that retaining a sense of self that continues through my life is important. Maybe if this was a different culture or a different time, then it would be more of an ending because I wouldn’t be encouraged to keep my career, my interests, my friends, and more of my life would truly be ending. Which it isn’t, because, thankfully, I don’t have to live in 1950s America. That’s why I think this whole “ending” concept, fairy tale or not, is just stupid.
I can only assume this is the wedding that isn’t, since in the scene after this, we see Carrie saying, “and I let the wedding get bigger than Big.” And in the previous cut, she’s arguing her case for 200 people. This leads me to believe that she makes the ridiculous mistake of getting more involved with the wedding than with the groom. THAT is something that drives me up the wall. Women get carried away with their weddings because they think they’re supposed to – and the only reason they think that is because there is a whole industry about it. There’s dozens of wedding magazines, thousands of books, millions of items, and a lot of money to be made from Going Bridal culture – and here’s a whole chunk of it exemplified in this screenshot.
Here we have a scene where Samantha says, “I don’t believe in true love. Now Botox, THAT I believe in”. Sixteen women DIED in the United States last year from injecting what is basically a bacterial toxin into their faces. Are we seriously that insane as a society that we think paralyzing the muscles of our faces with a poison is so acceptable that it has become a societal standard? And doesn’t this just exemplify the sort of insane youth-clinging that single women are expected to maintain?
Here we have Carrie explaining to Charlotte’s adopted Chinese daughter that the prince doesn’t come and things don’t always work out that way. That might be because she has spent six seasons and one movie pushing the limits of a guy who is obviously not able to commit. I think the arrival of said prince is just as dependent on the standards you set for him – and how honest you are with yourself when you are setting those standards.
Maybe I’m misinterpreting the trailer. Maybe the movie will be different. But if so, then why edit & put together the trailer to look like something off the Hallmark channel? To appeal to a broader audience? That’s even sadder. Is third-wave feminism so muted these days that this is the best this franchise can come up with? I have to go read an issue of BUST now to remind myself that there is still some sanity among my gender in America.