Carrie’s Back With Her One True Love: Smoking, And She Should Never Have Quit Because Aidan Told Her To

We’re not condoning smoking, but we are condemning controlling behaviour

SJP Just Like That

by Jessica Barrett |
Updated on

Carrie Bradshaw is synonymous with many things: shoes (she is ‘the old lady who literally lived in her shoes’ after all), sleeping in her bra, making every situation about her, working for about an hour a week yet still having a luxe lifestyle - and, smoking. Some of the most iconic of all Carrie moments include her with a fag in one hand; the finest being when she told her cab driver, ‘Sir, we’re talking about up the butt here a cigarette is in order’, or when she took up smoking again during her illicit reunion with Big and exclaims to Samantha, ‘I’m smoking and I’m sleeping with Big again, feel free to delete me from your Palm Pilot’ (a perfect Noughties reference).

So it felt somehow if not comforting then certainly nostalgic- a reminder of good times - to see the photographs of Sarah Jessica Parker shooting scenes as Carrie for the SATC reboot ‘Just Like That’ in New York, sucking on a cigarette through her car window,.

We all understand the health risks connected with smoking way better now than we did back then, but the great thing about Carrie Bradshaw is she’s a fictional character so...smoking won’t kill her unless writers dictate it. It’s easy to understand those who criticise any aspirational character who smokes, yet if we were to go back and rewrite Carrie without smoking you’d lose a huge part of her character and her story arc. Carrie smoked when she was pondering a column, when she was drinking martinis in her apartment, when she was happy or when she was stressed out. It represented her freedom to choose how she wanted to live her life - and she rarely cared what anyone else thought, until furniture designer Aidan Shaw came along.

Aidan carrie

On their very first date he tells Carrie that smoking is a dealbreaker, and pressures her to give up. Her hiding the smoking of the odd cigarette becomes a bone of contention in their relationship to the point that he tells her that he ‘can’t date a smoker’. That Carrie would have been well within her rights to respond that she couldn’t date someone who wore a series of the world’s most heinous shirts was an oversight by the writers. In the end Carrie cheats on the smoking front and on Aidan (with Big).

Not liking that your partner smokes is fine, dictating how someone you've just met lives their life is not. Carrie shouldn’t have had to change who she was on the off chance things would work out with Aidan, nor in order for him to like her. Quitting smoking is a bigger commitment than a couple of dates. And although Carrie did appear to quit for good by the time the film instalments came along (and yes, we do recognise the second film here at Grazia) it feels right for now that our favourite narcissist is back on the fags. And who’s got the energy to criticise? After all, the world is falling apart you know.


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