I’ve written a bit lately about some popular or maybe not so popular TV shows and movies that I’ve been able to binge on during the pandemic and quarantine. I, as many do, have those guilty pleasures we don’t talk about all the time and one of mine is watching HBO’s Sex and the City. The show came out in 1998, when I was in college, and ran for six (6) seasons and then I think there was a movie or two that came afterwards.
Outside of the overt sexuality depicted in the show, which was shocking then and not so much now, one of my most vivid memories of the time period when it was running on HBO was when one of my sisters and I watched it together at my parent’s house when we were both home from school, my sister from college and me from law school, I think, or maybe it was even later. Going to and working in NYC was her dream, which she made happen once she graduated, and watching that show allowed us to talk in a way we struggled to otherwise. I’m not saying that she had a promiscuous lifestyle, I believe the draw for her was all about the style and the “thing” that makes NYC so unique, however that is defined by Manhattanites. I watched it to catch a glimpse of the life she was leading there, whether or not it was entirely accurate.
As I watched the often comically presented struggles amongst the four (4) women that the show follows, I am sometimes horrified, sometimes intrigued, sometimes envious, sometimes irritated and sometimes just entertained. Occasionally, there are some more profound moments that are easy to overlook amongst the clothes and shoes and restaurants and red carpet events.
The quote that resonated with me recently was when Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) in Season 5, Episode 6, concluded that
“The only reviews that matter are the ones you give yourself.”
I think this is something that many people aspire to, especially when said reviews are about a part of you released to the world. In the show, Carrie writes a column all about her dating and sexual adventures. She speaks to the perennially single women in the City who often despair of finding the great love of a man. Her column is successful because she is vulnerable and shares details of her life and experiences (and the experiences of her friends) in great detail. She does, though, tend to have either strong admirers or strong detractors, a phenomenon that is not unusual when one pushes the envelope on what most people are comfortable talking about.
In 2020, there are so many bloggers who share their vulnerable selves in a variety of ways through the internet. No longer are columns limited to the few that are published in a paper newspaper. Anyone who wants to pay the money to host a site and is willing to enter content is welcome to do so. No editor looks over these posts, no review board, no one is worried about selling something … well, I suppose that last one isn’t always true. Many blogs have sponsors and many bloggers work to monetize their work. It’s just very different now that anyone can create content without the benefit of a guide/editor.
And yet, this quote remains true. How we think of ourselves, how we think of our own actions, how we review our efforts, those are the reviews that truly count in the end and the more we can seek that approval internally rather than externally, the happier we will all be.
Thanks, Carrie, for the insight. 🙂