Despite its everlasting impact on how women talk about sex, and also how I get over a breakup, Sex & the City is ... a little dated. It was uncomfortable with bisexuality, for one thing; it handled biracial relationships awkwardly, and it fetishized wealth and materialism in a way that might not be welcome in 2017. To name a few issues. But one cheeky Instagram account has managed to bring SATC up to speed with a "Woke Charlotte" meme that adds progressive dialogue to some of the series' more cringeworthy scenes.
The meme is the brainchild of Lauren Garroni and Chelsea Fairless, who've been running the popular Every Outfit on Sex and the City Instagram account since 2016, as reported by the Daily Dot. The account's main claim to fame is its hilarious commentary on various outfits characters wore on the show, like coming up with ten "fantasy occupations" for one of Miranda Hobbs' chiffon ensembles ("1. Manager of the Bloomingdale’s scarf department," "High school drama teacher with a raging autoerotic asphyxiation fetish," and "Art historian whose primary passion is obscure Islamic textiles" were a few options), or describing this particularly memorable Samantha Jones jacket as "two parts Romy and Michelle, one part Fraggle Rock." Indeed.
Recently, though, the account's started posting some new material, by giving Charlotte York a new "woke" personality that serves as a comeback to some of SATC's more dated references. Recall, for instance, that time Samantha used problematic language to describe the transgender sex workers who were making too much noise outside her Meatpacking District apartment. 2017 Charlotte has no time for slurs:
Then, there's the time Carrie Bradshaw described her jewelry as "ghetto gold." New Charlotte is a truth teller:
And never forget the episode where Carrie dated a bisexual man, then claimed bisexuality wasn't even a thing. Modern Charlotte sets her right:
"Every Outfit on Sex and the City" describes Woke Charlotte as "the fictitious voice of reason that Sex and the City desperately needed but never actually had," and it is satisfying to see the show get called out for the stuff that wouldn't hold up in 2017. It's true that it was progressive for its time but that doesn't mean contemporary viewers should be dismissive of some of its more problematic content.
“We wanted to recast one of the characters in the show as a social justice warrior, and Charlotte just seemed like the most hilarious option," Fairless told the Daily Dot, noting that the character was borne out of a desire to address the show's increasingly pronounced datedness "as marginalized people have been able to make their voices heard in mainstream culture."
Garroni said the meme's given SATC fans a way to work through some of the show's outdated references. "[P]eople still love the show, but there are some really cringe moments watching it now," she said. "I think using the subtitle format to correct some of the more un-woke moments was something our followers, and ourselves, never knew [we] needed.
Right now, Every Outfit on Sex and the City has nearly 400,000 followers, and that's only picked up since Woke Charlotte showed up on the scene (Garroni says the response to the character has been "explosive"). It's served as a sort of antidote to criticism the show's faced in recent years, which got even louder after the two feature films were released — Sex and the City 2, in particular, was soundly panned for being tone-deaf, farcical, and even racist. It doesn't mean, of course, that you can't watch the show or enjoy it, but like any outdated piece of pop culture, it now requires a more refined critical lens. I just watched an episode of Cheers, for instance, in which Ted Danson's character repeatedly hit on a female journalist who was trying to interview him, which probably isn't something that should stand up in 2017 (though it does, unfortunately, still happen).
Anyway, Bunny is still the worst.