Why Carrie Bradshaw Doesn't Wear Nail Polish (And Just Like That, It Makes So Much Sense)

"Sex and the City" is a treasure trove of iconic fashion moments, many featuring the inimitable Carrie Bradshaw. But between the Vivienne Westwood wedding gown and the myriad of Manolos, one style element has always been conspicuously absent from Ms. Bradshaw's looks: a manicure.

Manicures are typically a must-have for most beauty lovers, so it's a little unusual that someone who loves to rock a tulle skirt as streetwear and keeps her oven stocked with sweaters has nary a single painted nail. Carrie Bradshaw continues to go manicure-free in "And Just Like That...", confirming that the bare nails are not merely an oversight but a fixture of the character's aesthetic. Fortunately, we no longer have to wonder about the great manicure mystery as Sarah Jessica Parker has shared why Carrie rarely has painted nails.

In an interview with Glamour, Parker explains that painted nails would be cumbersome to Carrie's work as a writer and that "it just never seemed that it was where Carrie would spend her time expressing herself." While this choice may sound like a throwaway detail by the show's wardrobe department, it speaks to the powerful dynamism between identity and fashion that's constantly at play in the "Sex and the City" universe.

Carrie Bradshaw has no time for a manicure

Simply put, Carrie Bradshaw's lifestyle is not conducive to wearing nail polish. As a writer, Carrie is constantly typing, which inevitably leads to broken nails and chipped polish — trust us, the writing staff at Glam is more than familiar with the struggle. As Sarah Jessica Parker shared with Glamour, someone like Carrie Bradshaw doesn't have the patience to be fixing her nails, and she certainly doesn't have the time to type slowly. Keeping Carrie's nails plain adds authenticity to the beloved character, even when she's in her most outlandish ensembles.

It's refreshing to see a dash of humble realism in a show where the main character reportedly spends $40,000 on shoes, according to the season 4 episode "Ring a Ding Ding," as per IMDb, and seemingly never steps foot on the subway. But then again, that tension between the real and the imaginary has been the centerpiece of "Sex and the City" since the beginning. As The New York Times puts it in a review of the 1998 pilot, "Carrie is torn between her longing for romance and her knowledge that there is no free breakfast at Tiffany's." In this sense, the unpainted nails of a single working woman are the perfect punctuation for a character who strives to reconcile her desires with her lived reality.

The symbolism of a woman's hands (and feet)

Carrie Bradshaw's polish-free nails is a piece of elegant, understated storytelling about how we shape and present our identities through our personal style. In all the time fans have known her, Carrie has always been a writer. Her hands reflect this. In other words, they aren't ornamental but a tool she uses to build her world and make her livelihood. Despite the elaborate outfits and designer brands, Carrie's aesthetic still reveals that her labor is a fundamental part of her identity. At the same time, Carrie Bradshaw's love affair with shoes is probably a more epic romance than any of her relationships. Her shoes are fashionable, expensive, and impractical. Carrie has the hands of a worker, but her feet are dressed to walk among the glitterati of New York.

For another character, this would be a bleak rendition of a woman trying to fake it until she makes it. For Carrie Bradshaw, it's an exercise in creative honesty — she doesn't try to conceal who she is. She incorporates it into her presentation as both the worker and the aesthete. Some might argue that unpainted nails are a frivolous detail about an equally frivolous character, but Carrie Bradshaw acts as an artist, and a woman, trying to pull some beauty out of a flawed world, a nonfrivolous experience that any viewer will surely recognize from life beyond the TV screen.