Cynthia Nixon's Full-Frontal Moment On And Just Like That... Is Smashing Stigmas

Cynthia Nixon, best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in "Sex and the City," has long been a sex-positive icon for women of all ages. Now, she's using her iconic character to make a statement that deserves another round of applause. In the season 2 premiere of "And Just Like That...," the star has a full frontal nudity moment during a sex scene between the characters Miranda and Che. The best part is the scene feels incredibly natural. Miranda isn't flawless, or perfectly styled, but she still shows she's worthy of loving and caring sex.

At age 57, Nixon, of course, falls outside the typical age range viewers are used to seeing in sex scenes, let alone completely in the buff. But as any "Sex and The City" fan can tell you, the original series was regarded for its commitment to reminding us all that sex and being sexy doesn't stop once you hit middle age. But this time, with Miranda's unfiltered, un-retouched body in view, there is something particularly meaningful about the moment, for both the character and viewers. Fans have previously seen Miranda Hobbes be more self-conscious than her peers like Carrie Bradshaw, especially when it comes to her body. But in "And Just Like That...", her confidence has begun to skyrocket as she becomes more in tune with her sexual desires, while accepting her body for what it is. By choosing to show herself nude, Nixon is not only sending a message of the importance of self-love, but smashing the stigma that says mature bodies have no place on the small screen.

All bodies deserve to be viewed on screen

Hollywood's ageism against women is far from secret, but when it comes to the physical presentation of mature bodies, it couldn't be more blatant. In a media world that fixates on youth and traditionally caters to the male gaze's idea of beauty, mature bodies are treated as taboo, something to be hidden from the world. As a result, women characters above the age of 50 are either relegated to sexless beings, and if there is any sex occurring at all with them, it typically happens off-screen. This erasure feeds into the societal conditioning that tells women they should feel ashamed of their bodies as they age, leading to a myriad self-esteem and body image issues.

With that in mind, the fact that Miranda appears completely nude while remaining totally confident, is both revolutionary and empowering. The old Miranda had difficulty accepting her body in its natural state. In the original "Sex in the City," for instance, one storyline found the character in tears over the weight she gained during pregnancy. Miranda fought with herself to fit in this perfect mold. This Miranda, however, is rediscovering who she is, and part of that journey is finding the joy in her own body as it is, for herself. That idea that older women can be sexual is not revolutionary, but Miranda's total comfort and self-assuredness about it is.

Nixon isn't the only woman over 50 to be challenging the shame around the unfiltered portrayal of aging bodies. In 2021, actor Emma Thompson made headlines for appearing completely naked in the final scene of the film "Good Luck To You, Leo Grande," a moment that critics praised as a radical depiction of self-love. Nixon's full-frontal moment in "And Just Like That..." echoes a similar sentiment; one that reminds the viewer not only of the existence of these bodies, but that they too, deserve to be seen.

Breaking the sex scene standard

In 2018, The Washington Post chronicled how younger actresses are often pushed into being the center of nude scenes by male directors who often take advantage of them. However, the sex scene in "And Just Like That..." was approved by Nixon herself and done as part of a character's journey, not just for the sake of gratuitous nudity. It subverts the trope that places women in sex scenes as mere objects to be oogled at through the lens of Hollywood's heteronormative standards — Miranda isn't existing for anyone's pleasure but her own. With shows like The Idol positioning over-sexualization as symbolism, seeing a sex scene unfold in a way that prioritizes female pleasure is both refreshing and necessary. 

In an interview with InStyle, Nixon explained that even though nudity is not her favorite thing, the scene felt right because the sex is part of Miranda's growth. In the series, Miranda's new relationship with Che is exciting for her. It's a second chance to experience love, passion, and desire in a way that truly fulfills her. Reigniting your sex life and reclaiming intimacy after a dry spell is a very real storyline that can happen in any woman's life, at any age. In "And Just Like That..." it's doubly meaningful for Miranda, a character whose journey to total confidence has been a long time coming. For viewers, it's a reminder of how one shouldn't hide any part of themselves for fear of losing love.