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.
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.