Photo: Annie Leibovitz.
Last week, Sarah Jessica Parker celebrated her 52nd birthday. Parker took to Instagram to mark the occasion, posting photos of the place settings her seven-year-old twin daughters, Marion Loretta and Tabitha, arranged—complete with “HBD Mama” confetti and crayon-colored paper shoe cutouts pinned at the back of each chair. The choice of decoration was fitting, given both Parker’s burgeoning career as a footwear entrepreneur and her Manolo Blahnik–loving Sex and the City counterpart, though the actress upholds that she and Carrie Bradshaw have little in common. “Bradshaw’s life is nothing—nothing—like mine,” Parker once told Vogue. “I loved playing her, and it changed my life in lots of wonderful ways, but I’m not a crazy shoe lady.” In some ways, Parker is more of a Charlotte. “She’s incredibly polite,” said Claire Danes, who costarred with Parker in The Family Stone. “She’s ladylike. She doesn’t curse. I felt downright crass.” (Just imagine how Samantha might have felt.) Here, five other things you may not have known about the one and only Sarah Jessica Parker.
1. Parker wore black for her wedding to Matthew Broderick in 1997.
“Our logic was we didn’t want to call attention to ourselves that day, because we’re actors and we get attention all day long,” Parker said. “Matthew bought a suit off the rack and I bought the first dress I looked at.” Parker and Broderick staged a surprise wedding for 100 unassuming guests at New York’s Angel Orensanz Synagogue. And while their intentions were honorable, Parker since admitted she would do it differently if given the chance. “I’d wear a beautiful, proper wedding dress, like I should have worn that day,” she said. Parker explained to Martha Stewart Weddings that she’d want an “Oscar de la Renta feel, pockets below the waist, a very fitted bodice, a huge skirt, in taffeta and duchesse satin.”
2. Parker was set up with one of her Sex and the City costars.
More than a decade before the show aired, Parker went on a blind date with Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch, Carrie’s gay best friend. “I’ve known Sarah for 15 years—we were set up once, had a very long flirtation, and then just settled into being best friends, something I think really reads on the show,” Garson once said. “It’s funny, she’s said in interviews that every single one of her friends is gay ‘except for Willie Garson.’ ”
3. Parker has an unorthodox approach to a common beauty woe.
For starters, she doesn’t wear concealer because, well, she feels “like a fraud” and instead swipes on Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick “every day of [her] life.” “It’s the greatest eye pencil ever in the history of eye pencils,” [Parker told Vogue](http://www.vogue.com/article/sarah-jessica-parker-stash-perfume-beauty-routine-perfume-makeup-hair) last summer. Parker can pinpoint the moment she fell in love with the look while watching Lisa Bonet on Letterman years prior. “She didn’t have a smoky eye, but she did have a natural really low shadow that was this beautiful plum,” Parker said of Bonet’s uncovered dark circles. “I love dark circles—any movie with a woman with dark circles, I just think, ohhh.”
4. Maxim named Parker the Unsexiest Woman Alive in 2007.
This was to the shock and horror of both men and women alike. “It upset him, because it has to do with his judgment, too,” Parker said of her husband’s reaction. The following year, Parker told Allure: “My instinct was that it felt personal. It was really about ‘We don’t like her.’ Who were the judges and critics? I would like to ask them, ‘What exactly is it that you personally find not sexy about me? Is it my figure? Is it my brain that bothers you?’” Parker further suggested that any man who prefers an airbrushed woman to the real thing is doing themselves a disservice. “My impression is that what they find sexy doesn’t make them very interesting or unusual or special,” Parker said. “That makes them common.” We’re with Parker.
5. The only thread between Parker’s style and Carrie’s is that they “will both try anything.”
As Parker told Vogue: “In real life I never dressed the way she dressed, nor would I.” However, she did concede that playing Carrie educated her sartorially. “I grew up in a house of matching,” she said. “You know, our hair ribbons matched our dress, and our pinafore matched our socks. You didn’t clash colors. What I learned by being around Pat Field was there shouldn’t be rules in fashion. Things shouldn’t go together. And that’s the thing that really changed in my own world and the way I choose to dress.” Are SATC fans disappointed that she’s not as dressy as her character? “They are,” Parker said in an interview with Glamour. “Often I’ll go to the market, and women will say to me: ‘Let me see your shoes.’ And then I show them I’m wearing flip-flops.”
This story originally appeared on Vogue.
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