Wednesday, May 29

Having made the choice to age gracefully, Sarah Jessica Parker faced condemnation for not conforming to modern beauty ideals and standards, including getting Botox injections and large lips.

Sarah Jessica Parker played the fashion icon Carrie Bradshaw in the HBO franchise “Sex and the City.” However, the “Footloose” star has always come under fire for her lack of fashion sense in real life.

During her time as Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker managed to serve some of television’s most iconic looks, becoming a symbol of glam and glitz for women worldwide.

Women considered her a trendsetter, using style as an extension of herself to depict her moods and her obsession with high fashion.

Not So Fashionable in Real Life

Although her character’s trendsetting style on the show coerced many women to consider fashion an everyday lifestyle, Parker has never been so keen on fashion in real life. Speaking to People in 2012, the actress shared that Carrie Bradshaw’s fashion identity was not something she connected to in real life. She shared:

“It’s not how I think of myself, and I think it’s probably the healthier approach.”

Sarah Jessica Parker on November 1, 2021, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Do not be mistaken. The actress appreciates a good outfit and loves beautiful things, but unlike her character, you will not find her in a tutu in the grocery store. She believes fashion is now less of a priority for her because:

“It’s just not a reality — not when you have three kids, and you go to the market, and there are hungry people at home. You have a limited time to do it. There’s just no time to let vanity enter into that.”

Her fashion choices have not gone unnoticed over time, and as she would tell Vogue during the “Life In Looks” segment, people have often criticized her looks, which she considers funny.

Over the years, the actress has taken a lot of heat for her fashion choices, including her most talked-about outfit at the Met Gala. She mused that one borrows something they like because it speaks to you at a moment and time, but then there will always be people that don’t like it.

And while it is their right, she does not understand the criticism. She reasons that one wears a particular outfit because they like it. “So, what’s the point of the criticism?” She clapped back at her haters.

Over the years, she has learned to dismiss the critics, and for her everyday outfits, she prefers something that she likes and chooses to shy away from worrying too much about whether it matches.

“Unsexiest Woman Alive”

Besides her highly criticized looks, Parker had a challenging time dealing with the news that the Maxim poll had voted her “Unsexiest Woman Alive” for not conforming to current beauty ideals and standards, including Botox injections and big lips.

She felt that while she did not meet the standards of some men writing in a man’s magazine, the poll had been brutal and had hurt her deeply. And it also affected her husband, actor Matthew Broderick.

As if that was not enough, things turned nasty when the paparazzi released photos of Parker having lunch with “Bravo” bigwig Andy Cohen. Parker had a make-up-free face with her graying hair in full display, which attracted mean comments.


The backlash included followers shaming her for her gray hair and calling her old. Andy Cohen, who also has a head full of silver hair, came to Parker’s defense, wondering why he never received criticism for the same and named the comments “misogynistic.”

Broderick is often seen doting on his star wife and her beauty and considers himself lucky for being in her life.
Parker did not take the criticism lying down. Following the mean remarks, she jumped to defend herself from the haters during her sitdown with Vogue Magazine.

“It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly OK with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better.” She also added:

“I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?”

That was, however, not the last she’d hear of the degrading comments. In 2018, the actress again faced fire after going to the Met Gala donning an ornate nativity headpiece. People took to social media to make fun of her skin, calling her a senior citizen.

In late June 2023, Parker engaged in a one-on-one conversation with Howard Stern, during which the discussion revolved around the prevalent trend of cosmetic surgery and the public’s fixation on aging in Hollywood. Recounting the experience of securing the role alongside Steve Martin in the satirical romantic comedy film “L.A. Story,” Stern inquired if she saw a “good-looking human being” when she gazed into the mirror.

The actress responded candidly, stating, “I’m presentable,” and went on to express, “I don’t really like looking at myself. I think I’m fine.” Stern then probed about her thoughts on considering ” a facelift, Botox, and all this other stuff,” to which she promptly admitted, “I think about all of it. I ask people all the time, is it too late?”

Following up on whether she had ever contemplated undergoing plastic surgery, the 58-year-old star disclosed, “No,” while conceding to engaging in dermatological treatments, including a skin peel. “I’ll do any of that stuff,” she confessed openly.

Parker reflected on possibly missing out on “the old-fashioned good [facelift]” at 44, a notion Stern disputed. When asked if she believed she should have undergone the procedure, Parker sounded uncertain about her decision. Stern expressed relief, saying, “I’m glad you didn’t do it.”

The “Hocus Pocus” alum said she understood why people opted for procedures like Botox, acknowledging societal pressures surrounding beauty and aging. She reflected on the time when a photo of hers clicked alongside Andy Cohen went viral, where people criticized her appearance but chose to ignore his head full of gray hair.

As a woman in her late 50s, Parker seems unbothered by her critics and holds clear views on aging, which she expressed in another exclusive interview in August 2023. She expressed:

“I just don’t spend that much time [thinking about appearance]. It’s not that I don’t have an ego, that I don’t have a decent, healthy amount of vanity, but I just don’t want to spend that much time really deconstructing it all. I like to be graceful with myself. I’m not delusional. I know that age adds up…”

Choosing Family over Fashion

Although she has faced backlash over her fashion choices in the past years, the “Honeymoon in Vegas” actress has stood her ground, focusing on what matters most—her family.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker on September 20, 2016, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

During the 2006 New York annual fashion week, while everyone else was rushing to secure their best gowns and statements for the event, Parker chose to stay home and be with her family. Her son James, then three, had just started school, and she had to drop him there every day.

Today, attending events has become quite the task as Parker is a mother of three. She and her husband welcomed their first son, James Wilkie Broderick, on October 28, 2002, and he is currently a student at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Their second-borns are twins Tabitha Hodge Broderick and Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick, who they had on June 23, 2009, via surrogate.

While Parker’s fans have loved and criticized her equally, her husband, Broderick, remains a constant in her life. The “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” actor and his wife have been smitten with each other since they first met in the early 1990s.

Sarah Jessica Parker with her twin daughters Marion Loretta Elwell [Left] and Tabitha Hodge on May 3, 2018, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

They tied the knot in a surprise wedding ceremony on May 19, 1997, and have been going strong since. Surprisingly, Parker disclosed that the secret to such a long and happy union is their ability to spend time apart. She said on Sophia Amoruso’s Girlboss Radio podcast, as Oprah Daily reports:

“I know this sounds nuts, but we have lives that allow us to be away and come back together.”

Their relationship has been everything they dreamed it would be, and Broderick could not stop gushing over how much of an impression Parker made the first time he saw her.

He recalled their first date, saying he clearly remembers her walking down the street towards the movie theatre. “It’s very unique because I wouldn’t remember most people the first time I saw them come down the street. [But] I remember it as clear as day.”

Despite the belittling remarks and endless criticism that has followed her through the years, Parker is unfazed, partly due to the constant love and affection she receives from her husband. Broderick is often seen doting on his star wife and her beauty and considers himself lucky for being in her life. According to him, Parker’s “just a great, beautiful, hilarious person!”