Sex And The City Season 1 Episode 2
Models and Mortals
In this episode, Carrie explores standards of beauty and what it means to men. I have to say I can not speak to living in a city where models are roaming the streets. I live in more of a tweakers roaming the isles of Walmart kind of city. I am, however, a woman familiar with what our culture tells me about my worth in relation to my looks.
Impossible Standards of Beauty
It seems to me that beauty standards are not set by men but instead by advertisers marketing to women. A brand can tell you that a product will make you, younger, thinner, healthier, prettier, etc. These are all signs of healthy fertility. Yes, beautiful people are that way for a reason. They have good genes that show, through a symmetrical face, thick hair, glowing skin, and strong bone structure. Our most beautiful are indeed, our most fuckable.
The drive to fuck a beautiful model is basic mating effort.
How Powerful Is Beauty?
Very, and why? Because the desire to reproduce with the most genetically optimal person you can, is at the very core of our human nature. Even though you may be happily married to someone else, you may give a beautiful woman more curtesy, liberty, and opportunity than you would a less attractive, disabled, or aging woman.
I’m Fucking A Model – Male Ego
There is something more than good genes at play here. Throughout history, women have been objects, things to obtain and collect. Men with a lot of “things” are showing status as a mating strategy. Their ego urges them to collect these women not just for the undetected psychological need for reproduction but also to showcase themselves and validate themselves as alpha males. Thereby gaining more and more “things”.
Patchouli in A Room Full of Chanel Or A Saltine in A Box Of Ritz
In one scene, Carrie says she feels like patchouli in a room full of Chanel referring to being a “regular” woman in a room full of models. This reminded me of a night I have intended to write about for over a year now. No better time than the present, I guess.
I had recently married my first husband and was struggling with the idea of being someone’s wife and how I felt it diminished my sex appeal in general. At the time I felt like being off the market somehow devalued my fuckablility. Not that I was looking. At the time I was happily monogamous, but a girl still wants to be desired, right? I was in my early 20’s and did not yet realize the hotness of the naughty wife but I digress.
My then husband and I had gone out one night with one of his high school friends to a local concert. After the show we went back to the friend’s house along with a girl he had picked up at some point during the evening. My memories of that night are few. I’m sure I had more than enough to drink and well… it was close to 20 years ago at this point but what I do remember has stuck with me quite vividly. I was sitting on the couch with my husband and his friend, drinking and listening to music. The girl that had joined us was dancing alone in the middle of the livingroom. She wore jeans with a black corset top and had long straight dirty blonde hair that brushed against her body as she danced. I envied her inhibition. At some point during this performance, my husbands friend turned to him and said, “That is a Saltine”. Pointing at ME. “That”, pointing at the girl dancing “is a Ritz”.
Hopefully you are familiar with these snack crackers so that you get the fuckedupness of his comment. He was basically saying that I was plain and boring while the other girl had a bit more pizazz. I mean, a Ritz is high end as far as crackers go.
I’ve never really felt unattractive in my adult life. I spent very little time comparing myself to other women, but that night was different. That night, I saw with glaring clarity what I was lacking, and I saw it in her. Probably the most difficult thing, was that it wasn’t physical. This girl was not of above average beauty, she wasn’t exceptionally thin, she didn’t have larger than average breasts, or a bangin butt. What she had that I didn’t, was confidence. She had the guts to not only wear a corset to a concert (a look I later adopted) but she also had the guts to dance alone in a room full of strangers. I admired that Ritz girl. My husband’s friend, however, did not accompany us to any more concerts.
Beauty is about being desirable and be it either
consciously or subconsciously, desire is the fuel of life.
Rendering A Prince
Each scene in this episode was intended to paint Big as the prince. First, we see him with a model on his arm. This shows him as not only desired by other women, but desired by other women who have options. This signals that there is something there worth seeking.
The end of this episode is a classic intermittent reward given to Carrie by Big gracing her with his presence, just to give the line “After a while you just want to be with the one that makes you laugh”.
Sure, this can be true. Especially when looking at it from a human dual mating strategy standpoint. Sure, the guy wants the funny girl to pair bond with but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to still be looking in his periphery for genetic beauty with which he can potentially intermingle his seed. This scene is to reiterate one thing, that Big is different from the rest. By the second episode I think we have visited all female psychological desire cues to paint Big as the ultimate Prince Charming of Manhattan. He is tall dark, handsome, and wealthy, giving him definite alpha status. He is calm and calculated but seems to only crack the door to his inner heart for Carrie. He is desired by other women but is now consistently coming back to Carrie above all others.
I would advise anyone who is a fan of the show and has any interest in the dynamics of how desire works between men and women to read A Billion Wicked Thoughts (listed here) then re-watch the series and think about how the character of Big is written to manipulate the female audience. Not that this is something rare to the character. Most male romantic leads are written this way. It’s just interesting to me that a show that has such a female empowerment slant would push such a fictional romantic narrative. Unattainable beauty? More like unattainable love.