Before Carrie Bradshaw had Sex

Two upcoming books on the ‘Sex and the City’ character as a teen have women speculating


Sarah Jessica Parker
Before Mr. Big, was there only a big nose, big fashion mistakes, bad boys and bad perms? It was recently announced that Candace Bushnell, whose New York Observer column inspired the hit television show Sex and the City, was working on a couple of young adult novels featuring a high-school-age Carrie Bradshaw. HarperCollins, the publisher of Bushnell’s teen books (working title, “The Carrie Diaries”), to be released in 2010, says they will show “an inside look at Carrie’s friendships, romances, and how she realized her dream of becoming a writer.”

The show itself never went into detail about what Carrie was like before moving to New York. We know only that her father left—and that she lost her virginity, in Grade 11, in a “smelly rec room” after smoking a joint.

Bushnell, whose latest book, the novel One Fifth Avenue, was published this fall, obviously doesn’t need help writing. But that hasn’t stopped her many female fans from weighing in with their own opinions on what Carrie Bradshaw would have been like as a teenager. Every woman, it seems, could write their own Carrie Diaries.

Toronto mommy-blogger Laural Adams is a huge Sex and the City fan. She thinks teen Carrie would have been nothing like adult Carrie. “I have always pictured her as the girl who never quite fit in. I think she was probably the ugly duckling who had curly hair she couldn’t control, wore clothes that didn’t quite go together. I don’t imagine she was the kind of girl who was picked on. I picture her more as the girl who was in the ‘B’ group, the girl who had friends in the popular group but didn’t hang out with them at parties.”

Adams thinks she would have been on the school newspaper and yearbook committee. “I’m guessing she would have gone for guys who were bad poets or had some weird flaw, but were sweet and kind. And she probably had enormous crushes on guys who were totally gorgeous and unattainable at the time.”

Lori Mastronardi, a writer for the popular lifestyle website Sweetspot.ca, isn’t sure if Carrie was cool from the start or if she grew into her style-savvy ways. “My guess? She had unruly, frizzy hair. Probably one bad perm after another. Still, she worked ’80s trends like she should have been on the pages of Sassy, probably went a little overboard, and did it all on a limited dime.” She would have been insecure about “the mole on her chin, the shape of her nose, and the size of her hair.”

Leesa Butler, founder of the fashion website the F-List, agrees that a young Bradshaw would have been conscious of both her hair and nose. “But she might have been the first girl to discover the one woman in town who could wax a young girl’s eyebrows into the shape of a woman’s,” says Butler. “She would have prided herself on being the keeper of this knowledge, as she loved to be the one in the know. She was also eager to grow beyond high school. She might have felt the world was far too glamorous and interesting to be chained to a school desk.” Style-wise, “she would have been the only one in her school to wear clothes found at Goodwill and the back of her grandma’s closet.” Bottom line, she wouldn’t have been afraid of trying different fashions, says Butler. “Her classmates might have thought she was weird for that. But she didn’t care. Early on, fashion was the one area in which she realized she could express herself.”

Butler imagines Carrie as “the baby” of the family, and that if she did have siblings they were much older. “She had little in common with her family and grows apart from them later in life.” Christine Faulhaber, of Faulhaber PR, pictures the teenage Carrie as “bookish.” “Glasses and her frizz were out of control. She didn’t think of herself as a beauty, but didn’t think it mattered. She gained confidence because she was smart and had personality. She worked with what she had. She was a great mix of high and low. Cool and nerdy friends. Drama class and English lit.”

Not everyone wants to imagine Bradshaw as a teenager, however. Ceri Marsh, the editor of Fashion magazine, says that for her, “one of the genius things about Sex and the City was that it didn’t dwell on anyone’s family or background. Those girls created themselves in New York, not in their adolescence.” She may be right. Personally though, I can’t wait to meet the young Carrie Bradshaw, frizzy hair and all.

Rebecca Eckler is the author of the YA novel Rotten Apple, recently released by Random House.


Before Carrie Bradshaw had Sex

  1. If the producers of this movie want to shop at Goodwill, they’re welcome at our stores in DC! I agree that a young Carrie definitely mixed high and low. Looking forward to how that plays out…. -the DCGF

  2. Everybody knows that Carrie Bradshaw attended Weemawee High where she and her best friends Lauren, Marshall and Slash were constantly belittled by popular kids Jennifer and LaDonna.

  3. Enough already – wasn’t it bad enough to watch the grown up version, now we speculate about the teen aged Carrie Bradshaw? ! Who cares -she grew up to be superficial spendaholic whose sole purpose in life was to analyse her sex life( as if nobody ever had ever done that before), and to wear ridiculous outfits in the name of fashion! .With the majority of Designers being gay men who hate women what other result is expected – outfits that look foolish ,uncomfortable, & are not ptactical for everyday wear -and the horrific shoes that not only cause one to walk in weird ways to accomodate them but cause permanent physical damage to the feet. Her promotion of both show that she obviously cannot think for herself and her reasoning ability has not progressed beyond the 14 year old level anyway.
    I feel bad for Canadian women who worship these American icons in a pathetic attempt to be cool or chic ; or stylish in some form. The characters are pathetic – defining themselves through men and playing dress up, and show no signs of intelligence or social conscience. What is their true worth as women? Arm candy?? How sad for us that this is how women are portrayed.
    But it’s great that she finally got rid of that big, gross mole on her face- i always found it distacting -and it looked so much like a huge pimple that was about to burst – maybe that’s why I never liked the series!

  4. I actually enjoyed the ‘adult version’ – and I’m not a Sex and the City kind of woman. To be honest, I think the teen version could be fun…

    More than that:

    If we find it shallow and pathetic, we need to look at our lives. I think Sex and the City merely reflects life as it is… Much as Tupac didn’t create violent ghettos, he merely reflected them

    We could use talented writing to get across some of the values and morals that broken families with single working parents are unable to do alone. Sex and the City could support the life it reflects…

    On the other hand, maybe readers enjoy poking fun… Lord knows, we need some light entertainment that we can laugh with. Oh wait, that’s what Sex and the City IS: light, fun entertainment


  5. I see some things never change. Eckler still quotes only her friends in her stories. At least she includes last names now.

  6. this is great cos im at teen and i feel as if carrie is some one who wld get me! i luv the adult verson of sex and the city so the teen one is gng to so useful for me!!
    thanks for the post!!! :D

    CARRIES BIGGEST FAN brooke sarah jessica adams xox

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