Like many other women who are north of forty-five and fifty-plus, I rejoiced when I heard Sex and the City was coming back to television. I think many women identified with the characters as they pursued careers and other life goals as women in their thirties. The first Sex and The City movie took fans across the bridge to their forties and fifty with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. The second iteration, while fun, seemed to lose the thread of realism that drew fans like me to the television series. Now, you might wonder what was real about a fashion and designer shoe-obsessed freelance writer living in a posh apartment in Manhattan. Honestly, nothing. What mattered is Carrie was living in a way most of us could only dream of, and we were invested in her story.
And Just Like That represents the same hopes and dreams of Late Boomer, Gen-X, and Xennial women, who are in their late forties and fifties. The very fact that HBO is bringing the show back and they are not pandering to a younger demographic. Seeing Carrie and Miranda with grey in their hair was liberating on so many levels, and it flies in the face of our youth-driven culture. It’s also a beacon of hope a medium where one wouldn’t ageism applied, books.
Chick-lit was the now lambasted genre that brought us Sex and the City as a book. Chick lit was considered lighthearted fiction with a twenty-something or thirty-something heroine dealing with her professional, work, and emotional life. However, once the plot revolves around a character that is north of forty or fifty-plus, everything changes about publishing that book. A hot romance between fifty-somethings is deemed ‘seasoned romance’, which sounds more like a cookbook category. On the other end of the spectrum, is the idea that any book about a woman over forty has to be some kind of emotional journey. Both And Just Like That, and Sex and the City prove that stories centered around women as we age emotionally and chronologically aren’t an all-or-nothing deal. Aging happens gradually, and it’s about time that all media realizes it can be approached in a nuanced way. To bring this back to this not-so-flattering comparison being made with the Golden Girls, it would behoove us to note, that the show changed the way we looked at women in their fifties. No one ever thought of their grandmothers or mothers as vital, sexually progressive women like Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia. The characters helped to liberate generations of women, even if we didn’t know it at the time.
Tune in to listen and let us know what you think about all the fuss over Carrie and Miranda’s grey hair, and let us know think will happen for your favorite characters the fabulous ladies.
It was a dark, cold, grey, January day in Manhattan. The city’s holiday shine had long faded away. Gone from the modern contemporary office lobbies across New York County were the trees, lights, and holiday decorations that made them sparkle. Now, they were more like a rich man’s trophy wife or girlfriend, beautiful to behold, but soulless and cold. At least that’s what went through fifty-three-year-old Clarissa Berman’s mind as she walked through the lobby of her office building on Lexington Avenue.
At 5’8, Clarissa wasn’t considered petite, but tall enough to be above average. A very curvy African American woman, she had big boobs, a generous butt, a smallish waist with a little more tummy than she’d like. Her long, curly, thick hair was a custom mix of Clairol light reddish and cedar red-brown, which played nicely off of the red undertones of her light brown complexion. To say Clarissa was a convert to the natural hair movement, was a bit of a stretch. She’d done so at the suggestion of Mary Ann, otherwise known as her mothership. A woman used to having her will be done, she now suggested things to her adult daughters who’d long discovered that her suggestions were the equivalent of mutton dressed as lamb, but it was still mutton.
From the moment Clarissa and younger sister Elena were able to understand their roles in the family, her mothership Mary Anne Stevenson made it clear that even when they became queens of their own domains, they’d always be the ladies in waiting to her. Growing up, the ‘I am the mother argument’ was the overriding element for almost everything. Everyone from her husband, family, and friends, were in the mothership realm, and therefore subject to her opinions, will, and advice.
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