I moved to New York six months ago to pursue a career in writing. I like writing, I’m willing to work at it, and hey, if Carrie Bradshaw can do it on Sex and the City, then I can too!
But after landing at JFK and moving into a shoebox of an apartment, I couldn’t help but wonder: was Bradshaw, beloved sex columnist turned fabulous fashion icon, stringing us along the whole time? Does she secretly laugh every time another wide-eyed ingénue moves to the Big Apple, in search of labels and love?
Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell probably does, and she should seriously get a commission for constantly filling Manhattan with young female twenty-somethings hoping to cash in on their love lives. It’s the biggest practical joke to create a character who penned a personal essay column for a newspaper – probably much less than a thousand words – once a week and then spent her days strolling Fifth Avenue in Manolos and lunching with her unbelievably fabulous friends. Plus, she often did so with her entire bra showing, or without wearing a bra at all. There goes my role model, nipples and all! I often thought to myself. Of course I would love to write about my vulnerability once a week while sitting in my underwear in a loft all to myself. It’s like getting paid – really well – to date losers, kiss frogs, sleep with jack rabbits and reflect on it all to your diary of New York City. There’s a reason why it’s an HBO comedy and not an MTV docu-series.
But parallel to SATC’s growing popularity was also that of the Internet altogether, which means that everybody now thinks it’s okay to narrate their sex-capades and heartbreaks on WordPress. Bradshaw was an anomaly in her world because she was frank about her bedside faults for all of NYC to see, but she would’ve never made it big if she were competing against countless other girls yapping about the not-so-exciting twists and turns of their love lives. Because at the end of the day, that’s what Carrie does on SATC. The beauty of Bradshaw was that her stumbles echoed those of her readers, her frustrations with Manhattan men mirrored what every other single woman in NYC was thinking. When everybody’s doing it, no one’s buying into it.
So to all the ladies still typing ferociously on their iPads without using spell check and exploiting their exes for extra hits on your latest post, don’t hope for a blog-to-book deal just yet, or a paycheck that’ll fill a Mr. Big-sized closet with couture. It’s a pipe dream, a fairy tale, a finish line for The CW’s prequel series The Carrie Diaries. And it’s definitely not going to pay the credit card bills that she would’ve racked up from all that shopping (even though little Bradshaw just learned how to rock the five-finger discount in Monday night’s pilot episode).
If you think you’re Carrie Bradshaw, save it – literally. There are better characters to aspire toward, better real-world writers to fangirl over. And they’ve made entire careers by writing about everything but their failed relationships, bad dates and really bad sex.
Ashley is an NYU student who is holding on way too tightly to a potential career in magazines and goes to Vegas way too often. She’s fascinated with celebrities and strawberry beer and doubles as a pathological texter. Feed the addiction with tweets @cashleelee. Thanks in advance.