Sarah Jessica Parker Insists She's Just A Small-Town Girl


Sarah Jessica Parker is a wet dream for Vogue. That’s not a criticism of either party; both are what they are: glamorous. So why keep reminding us that Parker has such folksy roots?

SJP and Ms. Wintour make a strong case for their holy matrimony in the May issue, for which Parker is the cover gal. You can’t argue that Parker knows how to wear the clothes, be it in front of a camera or in real life (she shows up for her interview in a L’Wren jacket and white Balenciaga jeans). And she looks lovely across the board, whether she’s wearing haute couture (above) or doing the approachable-cover-girl thing (below).

The profile is full of half-interesting banter about age (“Parker says firmly that Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda are not that old” — which implies, of course, that the writer asked about the characters getting a little long in the tooth, and that’s an amusing interaction to imagine); being a working mother (“I haven’t seen my daughters for almost two months, with the exception of Skype, and I have to tell you,” she says, “I never felt like this”); and the experience of having her twins via surrogate (“Meeting your children rather than giving birth to them, it’s as if, um, it’s-suspended animation. It’s literally as if sound is sucked from the room. Time stands still”) — but what stood out to me was an often-mentioned talking point in The Sarah Jessica Parker Story: she’s from Ohio, where she grew up without much money. We’ve heard this before, but I’m not sure it’s ever been offered up as the dek of an article: How the little girl from Ohio turned her career into a juggernaut, learned about fashion, launched perfumes, became president of a design house — and grew her family along the way. Ohio! Look how far she’s come! Moreover, I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a video of her offering up the information backstage during an incredibly schmancy photo shoot.

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Maybe I notice this because I’m from Michigan and, probably like SJP, am aware that us wholesome corn-fed gals (har) are naturally outnumbered in the power-brokering coastal cities. But still, having this information trumpeted via Vogue — and reiterated by Parker herself (by way of explaining how she learned about fashion, which is a world so seemingly distant from Ohio, I guess?) — feels weird, incongruous. As if it’s offered up as some sort of disclosure, or to imply that she’s more grateful than your garden-variety fabulous woman. Or maybe something to remind the average reader that she’s just like us, really.

It’s on that last point that SJP is quite concerned, actually:

Parker would dub herself a working actor. And wife and mom. “We painted our patio furniture ourselves,” she told me, defensively. (I had asked her the deliberately faux-naïf question “How many people work for you?”) “I make my children’s food myself. We put together their high chairs ourselves; we do a lot ourselves! We do our own grocery shopping, we go to the market ourselves, you know? I do my laundry.”

God — just own it, all of it! No need to be defensive! And no need to tell us with a straight face that you’re washing your $435 jeans yourself. Not even an Ohio housewife would take that risk.

Parker Power [Vogue]

Images by Mario Testino for Vogue.

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