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I Like Carrie Bradshaw Best When She’s a Flop

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It’s somehow the 25th anniversary of Sex and the City, which makes no sense to me, because it feels like just yesterday that I was watching the infamous “Rabbit episode” and having my mind blown as a, shall we say, loosely supervised 11-year-old. (Judge my mom if you will, but at least I was aware early on of the concept that sex should be pleasurable for women, an important lesson that I chalk up entirely to my tenure as the offscreen, middle-school-attending fifth member of the SATC set.)

As I reflect back on 25 years’ worth of Cosmos, ludicrously expensive shoes, and extremely desultory column-writing, I can’t escape one simple fact: I’m just not a Carrie fan. This is partly because I’m a textbook Miranda (Stanford Blatch rising, Harry Goldenblatt sun), but without rehashing every sin the show’s central protagonist ever committed, suffice it to say that I rarely saw myself in Carrie—except, of course, for when she flopped.

What kind of flops am I referring to, you ask? Well, there are plenty to choose from—the time she showed up hungover to a New York magazine shoot and ended up being captured for posterity alongside the sneering headline “Single and Fabulous?” springs to mind—but the ne plus ultra of Carrie Bradshaw failures has to be the time she turned into “fashion roadkill” on the catwalk while walking (or attempting to walk) in a Dolce & Gabbana show. Sure, Carrie was cast as a “real person” in the show (as opposed to a model), but seeing her get all excited to make her runway debut, only to absolutely eat it, is heartbreaking. Every time I watch the episode, I feel like one of Carrie’s friends in the crowd, anxiously waiting for her to right herself.

Another major entry in the Carrie Bradshaw flop files has to be the time she got dumped on a Post-It. I’m on the record as thinking this actually isn’t the worst way to break up with someone (personally, I’d rather read a note than let someone see me ugly-cry in person), but the way she handles that unfortunate event—namely, by getting mad as hell, shit-talking her ex to his friends, smoking weed on the street, getting a ticket from a cop, and ending the night with a stoned ice cream sundae in the company of her besties—is Carrie at her most relatable. It might be weird to say I love this for her, but I do! The picture-perfect, style-icon version of Carrie that existed on so many dorm-room posters in the aughts never did much for me, but she’s endlessly charming in her chaos.


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