Kristin Davis opened up about the stress of aging in the public eye
It’s hard to believe that Sex and the City first aired nearly 24 years ago. The iconic HBO show premiered on June 6, 1998, and ran through 2004. Two movies and nearly 17 years later, HBO brought the Sex and the City gang for the followup series And Just Like That… which premiered in December 2021. While we are excited to see the SATC gang back together, Kristin Davis, who plays Charlotte, revealed that it’s been a difficult experience hopping back on-screen to a character she played when she was 20 years younger.
“I can only speak for myself, but it can also be extremely stressful to be aging and to be compared to your much, much, much younger self,” she told New Beauty. Davis first joined the show when she was 33.
“If I was from a regular life, I would feel fine; I would feel great! I’m healthy, I’m strong, I’ve got this little 3-year-old son, and I carry him around and it’s all good—but, no, I’m on television, where every bit of my physical being is analyzed,” Davis continued. “That part was always very stressful and difficult for me, because, as much as I can look back on my life and think, ‘Oh, I looked great then,’ you never think that at the time. I guess no one does,” she added.
Davis also said comparisons to her co-star Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t help with her self-image, either
“I also became famous when magazines were king, and every week there’d be an article saying I was ‘pear-shaped,'” she said. “That was difficult, and no amount of working out could change my shape or how those articles were written.” Sex and the City aired during the peak of the 2000s trash tabloid era, so we can only imagine how difficult this could be for anyone. Having your body compared to different fruits and other people on a weekly basis? Hard pass.
“They just loved to compare me to Sarah Jessica, who, at the same time, no matter what she did, was always going to be a very tiny thing,” she continued.
Luckily, Davis and her co-stars have ways of staying grounded and dealing with “age stress” throughout the filming process of And Just Like That… She surrounds herself with “calm people,” like show creator Michael Patrick King.
“Michael is very, very calm about it all, and he’s very much, ‘Listen, none of us are not trying to look like we used to look.’ Charlotte still has her style that she had before, but now she’s 55, which we dealt with in the first episode and it’s an ongoing storyline. But, obviously, there’s a lot of other things that come with aging. Some are great, like wisdom, feeling grounded, life experiences, and those wonderful things, but then there’s other stuff that’s stressful.”
Ultimately, Davis acknowledges that feelings around aging is a “bigger cultural conversation.” We agree, and are grateful that women like Davis use their platforms to help get these conversations in motion.
“I like to think there’s more to life than how we look, but it’s unavoidable in our culture that, as you age— especially as a woman—that how you look is a lot. It’s a whole, bigger cultural conversation we need to have, but, right now, it’s hard.”