I first watched Sex and the City in 2008, when I was 18. Slotting the discs into my ancient DVD player in my room in halls, I looked forward to when my life would be all dinners out, reliable friendships and incredible outfits.
But more than just aspirational, I liked catching up Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda because they were in their early 30s, for the most part single, and still figuring it all out. It reassured me that I had all the time in the world to secure my dream career and navigate relationships and friendships before I even needed to worry about having children (if I did ever consider that.)
I considered the characters as a benchmark, telling myself that I needn’t fret about relationships or babies until I was at least their age.
But now, I’m the age they were in the original Sex and the City series and while 33 was my self-imposed deadline to ‘get my life together,’ Carrie et all have swept back in to reassure me that there’s so much life still to live – and look forward to!
Now in their fifties, Charlotte, Carrie and Miranda, along with Seema, Che, Lisa and Nya, have arrived to tell me there are so many chapters to experience and I’m excited about it thanks to them, rather than thinking 50 plus as the end of all the fun times. “It’s reassuring for many women, young and mature, to see beloved characters age and still be vivacious and with a whole load of life to live,” says life coach Mhairi Todd, 40.
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As one of the most inspiring women I know, I asked Mhairi why I find the And Just Like That… ladies so reassuring, and she made total sense of why Carrie is such a comfort for me.
Life coach Mhairi Todd agrees that Carrie and co are reassuring
“These women are smart, attractive, with fabulous lives and even more fabulous clothes,” Mhairi says. “They lead lives we want to. And the fact they are significantly older is key here.
“The age gap leaves the door of possibility open ‘Maybe I can have that too in 10/15 years’. Whereas, in comparison, someone like 26-year-old Kylie Jenner with all her wealth, often reflects back a very different impression.”
© GettyCarrie Bradshaw is a reassuring presence for me
It’s the about turns in the characters’ lives that reassure too, with Charlotte heading back to work to reignite her passion for life, Miranda forging a new career and Carrie finding love again after the death of her great love, Mr. Big.
“Embedded in the And Just Like That… storylines, we see the characters grapple with life redirection,” Mhairi explains. “They showcase that it’s never too late and you can find your passion, soul mate, or life’s purpose at any age, which is refreshing.”
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Psychotherapist Jade Thomas, founder of Luxe Psychology Practice, adds. “All of these perspectives allow many women to relate to one of their stories and may provide hope that life does not end after your twenties or thirties (as society often makes us believe).
© InstagramJade Thomas shares why character bonding makes us love Carrie Bradshaw
Jade also notes that the show is reassuring as from a psychological perspective, we might experience ‘character bonding’ with the women in the show.
“Character bonding happens when we identify with and emulate traits that we admire in our favorite fictional characters. Character bonding can offer us ways to live vicariously, grow emotionally, or even process trauma. Even if we cannot directly relate to characters in the show, we can still connect with them. People tend to bond with characters to feel empowered beyond their limits, real or perceived.”
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The ladies prove that well into our 50s, we’re still making a mess of life. “We all still mess up and are figuring it out,” Mhairi says.
“Unlike the highlight reel we see on social media, it’s encouraging to watch powerful women with life experience, still figuring their s*** out! From my experience, there is nothing more powerful than learning from other women you admire, that everyone has doubts and dark days.”
© GettyThe trials and tribulations of Carrie’s life reassure us about our own lives
When university ended, my friend Rachel and I chatted about how we’d soon be ladies who lunch and looking forward to our Carrie-inspired lifestyles. While Rachel became a teacher, meaning we could never have mid-week lunches like Charlotte and co, we remembered our aspirations last week, when she moved out of the flat we’ve shared for 15 years.
While another chapter was closing, we reminisced on how we’d imagined we’d be like our favourite TV characters once we hit our 30s realising that we still have our forties and fifties to spend together, like true soul mates do – and I for one am very happy And Just Like That… has been renewed for a third season. Long may Carrie continue to inspire me that I don’t need everything to be figured out.
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