This past Saturday night I found myself watching the first Sex and the City movie for the umpteenth time. Side note: that film is over a decade old, but if you haven’t seen it and plan to, spoilers are to follow. I had spent the day working on courses and needed something mindless and indulgent to watch, and even though that show and its movies are unrealistic portrayals of what New York City life is like (or any kind of life, really), that’s what piqued my interest that evening.
And it dawned on me through watching scenes portraying women struggling with love, marriage, fertility, being jilted, self-esteem, and their sex lives that some lessons could be gleaned about what true friendship looks like. In fact, this aspect of the movie is the only exaggerated part that I do not mind at all. I don’t see as many examples of this type of friendship and closeness in black media, but black women are certainly capable and deserving of these types, too.
For example, the protagonist, Carrie, gets semi-stood up on her wedding day. As she and her bridesmaids confront the groom on a somehow traffic-cleared NYC street (like I said, unrealistic) Carrie is grabbed up by her friend Charlotte, who screams a definitive, “NO!” as he tries to approach, shielding her friend from his attempt to touch or speak to her. That’s the kind of vehement loyalty that needs to be displayed when blatant disrespect has been dealt to our friends.
Later on, an emotional Carrie has been shut in and confined to bed for 24 hours straight. Miranda shows up with a tray of food and advises her friend to eat a little breakfast. At one of the cutesier parts of the film, Miranda happily and lovingly feeds a still bed-ridden Carrie, one spoonful at a time. We only saw a few moments of this, but the impression given to audiences is that Miranda is happy to be there, even when her friend is seemingly at her worst. No complaints. That’s the kind of undying closeness black women need in a world that can be so cruel to us.
I could go on and on with examples, but ultimately, Carrie’s friends show up for her. She lives a happier life in part because she has good people around her who respect her and are not afraid to hold her accountable. Yes, it’s a movie, but the concept isn’t farfetched. With this, I’d like to propose a challenge to black women everywhere. As I mentioned in last week’s blog on The Code, I challenge black women to take active steps toward being kinder to each other, and thus treating friendship more sacredly. Yes, it’s positive promotion for us, but it’s also positive reform for us that has the power to protect our future generations.
I’ve been disappointed in seeing stories of young black girls assaulting and disrespecting each other on social media for clout. A 19-year old named Kenneka Jenkins lost her life arguably because her friends were not looking out for her at the Crowne Plaza Hotel that night. And as many black men continue to show their true feelings for us, I fear that black women and girls are easy targets when we cannot even form true comradery within black womanhood.
Perhaps it’s not that serious. Perhaps there is nothing to worry about. But what harm does being a better friend actually do?
Antoinette is a consultant, author, yogini, and host of The Midday Reset Podcast. Her personal development courses are centered on helping women realize their potential from the inside out. When she is not advising clients, teaching, authoring books, or recording episodes for her podcast, she is enjoying life with her husband and two children. Find her on Instagram @msantoinettechanel.