Sex And The City – The Cultural Impact

The famous show Sex And The City has been a massively influential part of television over the past years, and now it has finished we’re sure many fans use the box-sets as a bible to live by. The reason this show became so popular in such a short space of time is because it focused on real life issues and scenarios that real women can relate to. Even though the show sometimes dealt with in-depth and emotional subjects, it was always done in a comical way, meaning that the subjects discussed on the show were always easy to watch and understand.

Sex and the City 2

This show has become part of a cultural phenomenon to women across the world, and not only to those in America like many people suggest. Although many men despise the show for teaching us women how to have a voice, be successful and ultimately figure them out when they are off doing the dirty, plenty of men can actually appreciate the show for its humour and honesty. This show has done a good job of empowering women and has even been recognised by feminists for its ability to accurately showcase that women can be just as successful as men, that they should not have to hide their sexual desires and it has taught women that their friendships can be the most important thing to them, without needing to feel guilty or inadequate.

Sex And The City was created to appeal to all different types of women, no matter where they are in the world, and the show was successful in doing so. The four fashionably elite New York women each had their own ideals, thoughts and personalities, making sure that every viewer could relate to at least one character in one way or another. The main message that the show wanted to put across was simply pushing women to be themselves, and since the show was first aired in 1998 something has shifted in women across the globe. We now see women who are open about their age, relationships and success and believe in themselves much, much more. They treasure their girlfriends without feeling at fault for what used to be seen as ‘gossiping’.

Sex and the city Movie pictures-Labels or love - YouTube

What we found whilst watching the show was that women sitting around having a ‘mothers-meeting’ can be much more than a simple chit-chat. The support that the girls gave each other was something every girl should have, no matter which country or city they are in. The main characters Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Charlotte York and Samantha Jones treated each other as family and were able to discuss all different types of situations, being realistic, blunt and truthful at all times.

Many of you reading this will know just how draining and exhausting it can be to not be able to express these true feelings, but what Sex And The City taught us was that we don’t have to be perfect all of the time. One of the most memorable quotes in the show was when Samantha openly said “I’m 40 fucking five and proud of it!” This was a ground-breaking statement, made by a very likeable, sexy and self-reliant character that many women already looked up to.

Sex And The City was a great way for viewers to look into other women’s relationships and experiences, encouraging them to look at their own troubles in finding love in a more positive way. One of the most helpful and hilarious moments was when Carrie says “I have spent money on wedding presents and on other people’s children and no one has ever celebrated the fact that I am single.” It was dialog like this that proved to be a booster for real women struggling to find Mr. Right.

This show was one of the first to break the barriers of talking about sex so freely, so this alone was a breakthrough. Not only did it provide insight into how women think, feel and talk, it gave advice and raised questions. This wasn’t just a self-help show for women, it was much more than that. The writer of the show once said “It was never written for a big audience and it was never written to make people feel good. It was written as the truth in a humorous way.”

sex and the city

When you take a look at TV today, there are tons of programmes that represent women in a realistic way. Before Sex And The City this was almost unheard of, and this surely makes women feel much more at ease with themselves and the things that they do. A perfect example of what the show has been able to do is Sarah Jessica Parker who played Carrie. Since the show Parker has become a fashion icon and is now a well-known fashion designer. Kim Cattrall, who played seductress Samantha has since tired to capitalise on her fictionalised persona and as a result has released two books ‘Sexual Intelligence’ and ‘Satisfaction: The Art Of The Female Orgasm’. Not only did the show promote success in women, the characters proved that they themselves are doing and living it, not as characters but as real working women.

The series of Sex And The City introduced women to names like Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Hermes, and now look where we are. Almost all of us are obsessed with fashion labels. The show even changed the way women drink. In the not-so-distant past, people would order an alcoholic beverage in a relatively straightforward manner (a gin and tonic, a whiskey and soda), but Carrie and Co. changed bar culture forever and now there is a whole rainbow of specialty drinks and cocktails to choose from.

Sex And The City can even take credit for positioning gay culture as mainstream. In the show the all the girls have gay friends and in the movie we even saw a gay marriage take place. This has deeply affected the social and cultural landscape of New York, and many other cities across the world.

- Sex and the city Movie pictures-Labels or love - YouTube

When the show was launched in 1998, cigarettes were seen to be glamorous, but eventually we saw Carrie kick the habit. Could this have played a minuscule part in the smoking ban that took effect in 2003? The point is, this show was a game-changer and was ahead of its time and as a result we have learnt many valid life lessons.

Did Sex And The City change anything for you? Let me know using the comments section below, I can’t wait to see if the public still think it has had an everlasting affect on our cultural landscape after ending in 2010 with the movie Sex And The City 2.

3 thoughts on “Sex And The City – The Cultural Impact

  1. I love this article and I’m going to be completely honest Sex In The City is my absolute favorite show. I was a junior in high school when the show came out so I didn’t watch it right away but once I graduated high school I would literally go to Blockbuster and rent the seasons as they went on and I just loved it. Now that I’m 33 even though the show seems a little dated at times it’s so much more relatable! To be quite honest watching the show in my late teens and early twenties feels like it helped shape me as a woman. Not to sound corny but it feels like the show has taught me a lot about being independent and not settling for less.

    1. I totally agree! When we grow up we begin to look to peers, people and things to provide us with an education rather than just our immediate family and strange as it sounds, Sex In The City was certainly one of those ‘things’ for a lot of young women in cities worldwide. Very relatable and authentic at times. Thanks for your comment, it’s really interesting to hear your thoughts and I love that you somehow stumbled on this old article of mine!

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