5 Tips to Make you Feel More Confident, Right Now
Don’t let them see you sweat. Here’s how to project confidence like a boss.
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This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
When I first met Candace Bushnell at the photo shoot for Summersalt’s Every Body is a Summersalt Body campaign in New York City, our conversation almost immediately turned to the topic of inclusivity and representation in media. “Well, there still is not very much age representation in beauty and fashion,” says Bushnell. “You want to see somebody who can inspire you and say, ‘you know what? I can still be in the picture.’ Because that’s a real issue with women over the age of 50—it’s this feeling of becoming invisible.” But invisible is the last way one would describe Bushnell. With a world tour of her one-woman show, Is There Still Sex in the City, on the horizon and another book in the works, Bushnell continues to stay in the spotlight. Watch a snippet of our interview or read the entire conversation below!
Kristen Maxwell Cooper: What is your favorite summer drink?
Candance Bushnell: I would say my favorite summer drink is probably a drink that I have not had yet. I think maybe it will have some champagne in it. Maybe some elderberry and maybe a little splash of vodka even. We can call it The Candace.
KMC: What is your summer anthem?
CB: Summer music is the kind of music that makes you wanna roll down your windows and stick your arm out and feel the breeze and be like, ‘yeah, we’re going to the beach.’ you know, with your friend. Any song that makes you wanna do that, to me, is a summer song.
KMC: What is your no-fail secret to self confidence?
CB: It’s really about making a commitment that you’re gonna give it your best, and that’s all you can do. And that will make you feel confident if you feel like, you know, I really tried hard and I made that last little, extra bit of effort. Because remember most people won’t.
KMC: What does the term self love mean to you?
CB: Self love to me means self acceptance. Accepting the good and the bad. But also I think specifically what self-love is about, is recognizing, ‘Hey, I’ve got some flaws. But, instead of focusing on those flaws, I’m going to focus on the positive things.’ You know, every time I’m thinking about my flaws, it’s wasted energy. It would be a lot better if you took that time and thought about making money. You know, I mean, instead of thinking about your flaws, think about, ‘Hey, how can I make some money right now?’ That will definitely get you thinking. So that’s kind of my advice—focus on the positive. Don’t give the flaws a lot of attention because then they seem to get worse.
KMC: When would you say you feel like your most authentic self?
CB: I feel like my most authentic self probably when I am standing in front of the computer and I’m writing. And I’m writing something that, you know, I think is going well. And especially if you write fiction, you have to have some authentic self.
KMC: Finish this sentence for me: When I begin to feel self-doubt, I…
CB: When I begin to feel self-doubt I say, ‘get away self-doubt!’
KMC: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
CB: I did always know that I wanted to be a writer. Yes. I always knew that I wanted to do something very creative.
KMC: What was your reaction when “Sex and the City” became this huge cultural phenomenon?
CB: Well, for me, Sex and the City didn’t end up becoming a huge phenomenon–that isn’t how it worked for me. It was one little step at a time. There was the column, which to me, is actually the biggest part of the Sex and the City story. I’d been wanting to have a column for a long time, and I was, I don’t know, kind of struggling, but it was really my big break. So for me, that’s the biggest part of the story.
And then it was a book which was really exciting. And then I sold the rights and then HBO was interested and ABC was interested and I sold the rights to Darren Starr. It was all very exciting. And then he finally made a pilot and eventually they said they wanted to do a series. But it all built up so gradually that I honestly didn’t really notice. It didn’t really change my life. What really changed my life was becoming a best selling novelist, which happened in 2000 with my second book, “Four Blondes.”
KMC: Reboot aside, if “Sex and the City” were to be made today, how do you think it would be different?
CB: I never answer that question of what “Sex and the City” would be like if it was made today—that’s a parlor game for fans. I feel like Sex and the City is the kind of the TV show that really belongs to fans. They engage with it so much. And you know, I think that’s a fun thing for fans to think about.
KMC: So your one-woman show, “Is There Still Sex in the City” put you on stage—what was that like? Have you always been a performer?
CB: Well, being on stage was interesting. I was lucky because I worked with a Broadway director and she told me what to do and I just pretty much did whatever they told me to do. You know, that being said, for a lot of people it would probably be a terrifying prospect, but it felt very natural. And, you know, it was fun and it was interesting, very interesting. People were really, really nice to me in a way they are not, if you are a writer, so I’m like, I’ll do it again.
KMC: You touch on navigating single life, dating life, etc. What’s your advice for single women of any age?
CB: There are gonna be times in your life when you are with somebody and they are likely gonna be times in your life when you are not with somebody when you are supposedly single. And it’s about learning how to be good with both of those scenarios.
KMC: Talk to me about age representation in the fashion and beauty industries.What strides do you think we’ve made and what do we still have to do in order to make sure that all ages are represented?
CB: Well, there still is not very much age representation in beauty and fashion. You know, there are maybe one or two actresses who are used in all of the campaigns. But across the board, there’s nobody over 30 or over 40. And the reality is, honestly, that the population is getting older. I know it’s hard to hear that, but it’s kind of not getting younger. It’s getting older and older people still want to engage with life in the way that people did when they were younger. So you want to see somebody who can inspire you and say, ‘you know what? I can still be in the picture.’ Because that’s a real issue with women over the age of 50—it’s this feeling of becoming invisible and it’s a pretty universal experience amongst women over 50. Let’s basically say, post-menopausal is what we’re really talking about.
KMC: What would you say is the best thing about aging?
CB: Nothing! [laughter] I hate this question, because sometimes I want to say nothing. There’s nothing good about it. Um, well you’re still here. I think the best thing about aging is confidence. You do feel a certain confidence because on the other side of being invisible is the side where people feel like if you’ve just been around long enough, they all of a sudden like you. People like cute older people, which is something to remember.
KMC: What’s your no-fail beauty secret?
CB: I would say to moisturize.
KMC: What’s next for you?
CB: What’s next for me is a tour of, “Is There Still Sex in the City?” So I’m going to be going around the country for 16 weeks. And also to London and Australia and maybe Asia. And I’m also writing another book.
KMC: Do you have a favorite Carrie Bradshaw fashion moment?
CB: You know, I do like the newspaper dress. It’s a classic.
KMC: Is a Cosmo still one of your favorite drinks?
CB: A Cosmo is still one of my favorite drinks and I still drink a Cosmo every now and again. In fact, I think I’m gonna go and have one right now.
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