Ask any fan of "Sex and the City" about what they think about the show's main character, Carrie Bradshaw, and they're going to tell you what every other fan will tell you: she's a horrible human being.
They point to her many mistakes and the poor treatment of her friends and many lovers. They say she's very self-absorbed and only cares about herself, unable to break away from any topic not involving herself or Mr. Big. They also harp on her inability to spend her money frugally, pointing to her obsession with Manolo Blahniks as being irresponsible. They completely bulldoze over Carrie's positive qualities as a person and only point to her negative qualities, completely forgetting the fact that characters are supposed to complex individuals.
Look, I'm not trying to dismiss any sort of criticism about her. A lot of it is justified and I have found myself cringing at some of the choices she's made in my viewing of the series, but I can't help but think that people like to rag on her only because it's the cool thing to do. It's like, God forbid, should a female character have any negative traits that make her a real human being.
That's right, Carrie Bradshaw is a human being.
It's easy for us to want to view fictional characters as perfect. Stories and their characters are supposed to take us out of our reality for a bit. I mean, "Sex and the City" is a perfect example of this. Carrie and her friends live their lives as if it were just one big New York City adventure. We always see them dining at trendy restaurants, shopping at Barneys, and making time to meet for a lengthy lunch during the week. The show was designed to be a form of escapism for people who might not have the means to shop at Manolo Blahnik on a regular basis. Yet, the series still manages to dole out some believable, multifaceted characters such as Carrie which contributed to the show's longevity.
Which brings me to my next point: people hate Carrie because they see themselves in her.
It's easy to look at Carrie's choices and say "well, I wouldn't do that!" but the thing is...you already have. How many times have you spent your money on something frivolous and unnecessary (like Carrie, I spend way too much of my money on designer clothes and handbags) or dated someone that wasn't right for you? We've also all been a little self-centered or put ourselves before others or whined about our lives in some respect. Carrie produces uncomfortable feelings of identification within ourselves because we've done things that she has done. I mean, to be real, I don't think any of us has had an affair with a married man, but you know what I mean.
To bring it all back to my original point, I think that the hate we give Carrie is totally unfounded. It's gotten to the point where it's like we get enjoyment out of hating on her, rather than intelligently critiquing her choices as a character and how they contribute to the overall point of the show. Carrie is not a perfect person and she doesn't need to be for our sake. She's sort of an anti-hero: the protagonist of the story who has both positive and negative traits or makes ambivalent choices in the progress of the story. She doesn't fit perfectly into her world and neither do we since we're all a bit of an anti-hero in our own ways.
So, maybe instead of hating Carrie with the passion of a thousand suns, we can direct that hatred towards Mr. Big, who's probably the worst person in existence.