I've always loved Sarah Jessica Parker's fashion sense, but today I'm giving the former Sex and the City star props for more than just her enviable style. The mom of three has something to say about female friendships on TV, and I'm glad to see the celebrity speaking up about the issue. In Sarah Jessica Parker's interview with British Harper's Bazaar , the former HBO star shared her thoughts on how women treat one another on the small screen:
I think so much reality television – and the women that dominate culture today – are pretty unfriendly towards one another. They use language that's really objectionable and cruel and not supportive. I like to remember that Carrie and the other women in Sex and the City were really nice to each other. She was a really good friend.
While Carrie Bradshaw had her own set of issues, I suppose that I do have to concede in saying that she tried very hard to be there for her friends. Parker is certainly right about one thing, though, and that's that the women of reality TV really couldn't be any nastier to one another if they tried. Whether you like watching any of the Real Housewives shows, Dance Moms, or even less female-centric shows like Real World, you'll see plenty of women spewing venom at their fellow ladies. How often have we seen Teresa Giudice call another one of her New Jersey frenemies something that needs to bleeped out? Or one of the dance moms make a catty comment about a "friend's" outfit, husband, or parenting style?
And let's not forget the programs that put female fighting as the crux of the show. How many times can we watch the weave-pulling, drink-tossing women on shows like Bad Girls Club attack their female peers before we get really tired of the cruelty?
But while a lot of reality TV shows leave a ton to be desired, there is a wider variety of female friendships in our narrative television programming. We had five seasons of the supportive friendship between Park and Recreation's Ann (Rashida Jones) and Leslie (Amy Poehler) and there are even more positive friendships between many of the women on Orange Is The New Black. While there are some narrative shows that display female friendships at their bleakest (namely, the show on TV that gets the most comparisons to Sex and the City, HBO's Girls) and shows that wouldn't know how to do a female friendship right if they tried ( Glee ) our TV isn't totally devoid of solid storylines about supportive women.
I agree with Parker that we need to see more women supporting one another on television, particularly when it comes to so-called "reality" TV. For every Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad, we need a reality version of Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins to balance it out.