Dear Ms. Sarah Jessica Parker,
I’m going to say something slightly controversial: The best episode of Sex and the City is the first one. Here’s why: It shows Carrie’s curls in their most natural state of buoyant freedom. It’s the pilot, so this was before the show became a big-budget HBO hit with two film spinoffs; before Carrie became a style icon and Vogue bride.
When we first meet her, Carrie is a woman with flyaway frizz and a bad dye job, not Goldilocks of the Upper East Side. In other words, she’s you—a then 33-year-old actress with a string of fun, vivacious roles behind her, in everything from L.A. Story to David Letterman’s couch, taking a gamble on a cable show before cable was respectable and unsure of what was going to happen next. Your hair was so big because it was full of real life.
As a curly haired high-schooler with her mom’s password for this new thing called HBO Go, Sex and the City was an eye-opener for me in every sense of the phrase. If Girls taught me that sex can be awkward and unsatisfying, it was because Sex and the City taught me that it was okay to want it in the first place. Not to mention that female friendships might be worth a try. But, if there’s one thing that I am eternally grateful to Sex and the City for, it’s for casting you, Sarah Jessica Parker. It was you who convinced me that my curly hair was cool and beautiful, and that my straightener was a Medieval torture torch.
Name me a ’90s princess or Disney Channel character with curly hair. I’ll wait. Okay, maybe Ginger from As Told by Ginger, but her hair was the same shape as the Nickelodeon logo. American Girl Doll? Supermodel? Pop star? Still waiting. Growing up, all I had was Scary Spice, (I was a more of a Sporty), Shakira, and Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, who happened to look exactly like my mother.
The first girl I ever saw on a screen who I related to was a curly-haired Amelia “Mia” Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) in The Princess Diaries. And guess what? When Julie Andrews swoops in to tell her she’s actually the Princess of Genovia, the first thing she serves up is a full makeover. A guy named Paolo is enlisted to brush Mia’s hair, saying it’s thick “Like a wolf!” before her knots break his brush in half. He then proceeds to blow out, cut, and straighten her hair, finishing with before and after pictures if anyone doubted how big of a mess she was prior to his arrival. I can’t remember how the movie ends, but this scene messed me up for life.
By around 7th or 8th grade, I had a solid hunch that if I wanted guys to think I was pretty, I had to straighten my hair. This was proven by the fact that when I finally did straighten my hair, boys told me: “You look pretty.” By high school, the operative word was “hot,” and I subsequently begged my mother to spend two hours each weekend ironing my hair in the bathroom. And between New York private school Bar Mitzvahs and Sweet Sixteens, she practically earned her cosmetology license by the time I graduated.
And then, in my senior year I was introduced to you, SJP.
Who was this fashionably DGAF woman who got a guy in a limo to treat her like Cinderella? Who made bed-head and depression-head look like her best head? Who delivered the most quotable curly hair line in history: “I will never be the woman with the perfect hair…and I can’t feel bad about that.”
Her name was Carrie Bradshaw, yes. But that was all you, girl. You owned it! On and off screen, you proved that curly hair gets you noticed and laid and for all the right reasons. (I see you, Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey Jr., and now-husband Matthew Broderick). You inspired me to take risks with haircuts and up-dos and side-dos and everything in-between. But more importantly—beyond the superficial approval of men and women—you made it look really good to look and feel like yourself. That is what made Carrie one of the most beloved characters on television. Thanks to the two of you, I now realize that it’s fun as hell to have curly hair, and that everyone should want it, too.
Since high school, I’ve only straightened my hair twice, and both occasions were on Halloween. I no longer like myself without curls; they’re a part of who I am inside and out.
But, um, I have to say: I’ve noticed that in the past few years, you’ve gone completely straight. I can’t help but wonder: What gives? It’s been years since your curls walked a red carpet. Years! I saw this coming at the end of the series, but didn’t think it was going to be this long of a spell. Not only do I miss them, but you’re sending me a message that by the time I’m 52, society might not want me to have the same youthful curls anymore, either.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s Style Evolution from the ’80s to Today
Sarah Jessica Parker circa 1987 at a premiere party in Hollywood wearing black pants, a bra top and jacket.
Parker wears red velvet pants, a gold bra covered with a patterned jacket, and isn’t afraid to show some skin at a movie premiere in Los Angeles in 1991.
SJP wears a pale pink mini dress to VH1’s Vogue Fashion Awards in 1997.
SJP arrives at a party for the Emmy’s in 2000 wearing a pastel pink feathered dress.
Walking the red carpet at the 2001 SAG Awards wearing an embellished bra top and navy skirt set.
SJP wore a black bustier, leather pants, and a red lip to the 2003 Golden Globes.
SJP accepted an Emmy in this strapless black dress in 2004.
Wearing a trench coat and black boots in 2005 while stepping out in London.
SJP wears a plaid, tulle, and lace Alexander McQueen dress to the Costume Institute’s Gala in 2006.
This metallic dress was worn to the New York City premiere of Sex and the City in 2008.
SJP wears a black body-con dress with white heeled boots to the 2008 MTV Movie Awards.
This white ball gown created a romantic look on the red carpet at the 2009 Academy Awards.
SJP wears a short, ruffled black dress before accepting an award at the 2010 ShoWest awards ceremony.
SJP truly brought this pleated dress to life on the red carpet at the 2010 MET Gala.
SJP wears a pastel yellow Chanel couture dress with a wrist full of bangles to the 2010 Academy Awards.
A strapless black gown with a matching headpiece had all eyes on SJP at the Sex and the City 2 premiere in London in 2010.
SJP looking lovely in a form-fitting sequin gown at the 2011 Costume Institute Gala.
In 2012 at the amfAR gala wearing a feminine pink dress paired with white gloves and a black leather jacket, SJP creates a feminine look with an edge.
On the red carpet at the 2012 Costume Institute Gala, SJP wears a feminine, floral gown.
SJP wore a white and pink gown to the New York City Ballet’s 2013 fall gala.
On the red carpet at the 2013 Costume Institute Gala wearing a ball gown paired with plaid over-the-knee boots and a show-stopping headdress.
In a Mary Katrantzou gown with an intricate pattern while arriving at the ballet in New York City.
SJP wore this black and white Oscar de la Renta gown to the 2014 Costume Institute Gala in New York City, accessorizing with long gloves and simple jewelry.
This was a look to remember at the 2015 MET Gala. SJP caught everyone’s attention with a red headdress that spurred many Internet memes.
A sparkling moment on the red carpet as SJP attends the New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala in 2015.
On the red carpet of the 2016 Benefit Fashion Show for Parsons, SJP wears a two-toned dress paired with silver accessories.
For the New York City premiere of Divorce in 2016, SJP wears a purple lace dress with a crystal-coated bodice.
This color-blocked look was worn to the 2016 New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala.
A Princess Leia inspired look for the 2017 Golden Globes in Hollywood.
SJP wore this bronze, metallic dress to the People’s Choice Awards this past January.
It has always been a dream of mine to grow old and have long, white curly hair like a witch. I want to scare small children in the park. Heck, maybe I’ll even get a poodle to match. But you know what would be even cooler? To look like you, Sarah Jessica Parker. Without your help, I’m afraid that a century from now, I’m going to be right back where I started—with no other hair likeness besides cartoon villains.
So please, Ms. Parker I am begging you: Bring back your curls. As you once said yourself, (or maybe it was “some great man”), they’re forever thine, forever mine, forever us.
P.S. F–k Genovia.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s Best Curly Hair Moments Through the Years
Sarah Jessica Parker with a short bob in 1979 at Bill Bogg’s Thanksgiving Party at the New York Hilton hotel. She played “Annie” at the age of 14.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker lets her hair down in Los Angeles in 1980. She’s also wearing a denim jacket and her eyebrows are roaming free.
Sarah Jessica Parker with long hair and bangs on the set of “Square Pegs,” a CBS situation comedy. She tops the look off with a bow clip.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker poses for a portrait circa 1985. She wears a classic ’80s headband over her curls, plus her eyebrows are out of control.
No need for a bump-it when you’ve got that kind of volume. Here, Sarah Jessica Parker attends the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s Eighth Annual American Image Awards in New York City.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s hair defies gravity at the ‘Stand By Me’ Beverly Hills Premiere on August 6, 1986 at the Academy Theatre in Beverly Hills, California.
Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of “A Year In the Life,” Season 1, which aired on NBC. Her hair is styled into poofy ’80s bangs.
Sarah Jessica Parker attends the “Slamdance” premiere party in 1987 wearing her hair in a half up-do. She’s fully a “dirty blonde” at this moment in time.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker and her then-boyfriend actor Kevin Bacon attended the AIDS Benefit for Northern Lights Alternatives in April 1987 in New York City.
Sarah Jessica Parker wore her hair in an extremely high ponytail, with a scrunchie no less, at the Young Artists United’s One-Year Anniversary Celebration at Ed Debevic’s Restaurant in Beverly Hills, California.
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker demonstrates how to do sexy messy waves with then-boyfriend David Oliver at the ‘Bull Durham’ screening in Los Angeles in 1988.
Sarah Jessica Parker wore a top-bun to the the “Ghostbusters II” Hollywood Premiere on June 15, 1989 in Hollywood, California with then-boyfriend Robert Downey, Jr..
Sarah Jessica Parker proves that even bed head looks great when you have curly hair. Here, she steps out in Hollywood, California in a sweatshirt.
Sarah Jessica Parker wore a shorter, darker haircut to the 2nd Annual MTV Movie Awards in 1993. She also paired the look with a skin-tight white jumpsuit.
Sarah Jessica Parker showed off a shorter, darker curly bob at the “First Wives Club” New York City Premiere on September 18, 1996 at Paris Theater in New York City.
Sarah Jessica Parker at the Sony Loews Theatre in New York City in 1998 wearing her hair in a messy braided up-do with curly strands cascading down.
Sarah Jessica Parker sported a shorter haircut with Matthew Broderick at the Unicef 50th Anniversary Gala in New York City. She also wore a sequin gown, of course.
Sarah Jessica Parker does a chic half up-do at the “Godzilla” New York City Premiere on May 18, 1998 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Sarah Jessica Parker wears her hair in a perfect curly pyramid at the 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2000. She also paired the look with a corset suit and flower pin.
In the final seasons of “Sex and the City,” Sarah Jessica Parker cut her hair into a short bob— a mature move for her and her character, Carrie.
While Sarah Jessica Parker stopped going curly into her adult years, she still flaunted some glamorous (and blown-out) ringlets at the 2009 Oscars in Hollywood, California.
Channeling old Carrie Bradshaw from her Sex and the City days, Sarah Jessica Parker debuts a new platinum bob for summer 2017.