The Carmen Jones Effect

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching “Carmen Jones” from beginning to end.  (If you’re not familiar, let me break it down-Army boy has Good Girl as his fiancee and is ready to marry her-he meets Aggressive Woman who makes him forget about Good Girl-Aggressive Woman meets a new man and dumps Army Boy-tragedy ensues-The End.)  My friend AGinDC and I had a blockbuster night, complete with movie, red wine (which I normally don’t like), and pizza.  AG and I were able to point out various things, specifically where we and another one of our friends, whom I will call Lola, fit.  I said that I was in-between Cindy Lou and Carmen.  I was quickly told by AG that I was Cindy Lou, she was in-between, and Lola was Carmen.  I scoffed at her-I was slightly offended-but she broke it down for me.  AG told me that I “embrace my traditionalism and ‘good girl’ persona. You’re also predictable and don’t offer any spontaneity.”  After she said that I couldn’t really argue, except with the predicable part.   But we both whole-heartedly agreed about our friend Lola being Carmen.   Lola is aggressive, assertive, and a free spirit.  If she sees something (or someone) she wants, she goes after it.  And people (both men and women) are drawn to her like moths to a flame. 

The major realization I had after watching this movie was that men will leave the “good girl” to go to the woman who is more assertive.  And the more assertive women don’t back down until they get what they want.   Now, the Joes of the world do try to thwart the advances of the Carmens, but something happens where they forget all about the Cindy Lous and let their hormones take over.  I don’t think I even want to know why.  I’ve come to accept it as fact.  Now, AG and Lola seem to think I should become more like Carmen, but won’t I lose a little bit of the Cindy Lou?  I like being traditional, I like being the good girl, but I can say I want to be a little more un-predictable…I just have to plan what I’m going to do.  (Kidding. :))  But I do know I don’t want to end up alone with Joe sending me back home to my ma, so a plan must be devised. 

What do you guys think?  Do you know men who have left a Cindy Lou to be with a Carmen?  Was he happier with his Carmen or did he wish he had stayed with his Cindy Lou?  Is it our responsibility as women to embrace a little bit of Cindy Lou and Carmen in our personality?  Or is “Carmen Jones” just a movie that has no parellel to real life?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month Fact is about Harry Belafonte, one of the stars of “Carmen Jones”.  He passed up the opportunity to star opposite Dorothy Dandridge again in the movie “Porgy and Bess” due to its racial stereotyping. 


  1. I think that Cindy Lou wasn’t left because she wasn’t exciting, but because Joe only thought he was ready to settle down. I think men are almost always looking for the bigger, better deal, but when they find it, it’s not always what they thought it was. Trying to make yourself more aggressive or spontaneous could backfire for two reasons: 1) you aren’t necessarily being authentic, and therefore won’t attract the person who you really want (or an authentic person at all), and; 2) you may completely lose sight of who you really are and what you really want in pursuit of being what men generally want, which may leave you alone and unrecognizable, even to yourself. I like to say “to thine own self be true.” You don’t have to attract every man–just the right one. Be glad that who you are allows you to miss many of the wrong ones automatically. I know I am.

    • OMG, get out of my head!!! I was thinking the exact same thing! (But in my haste to get this post up forgot to make those points.) I totally don’t want to become something or someone I’m not because I have to keep this act up; and the man who it attracts may be disappointed once the jig is up because he didn’t get who he expected. And I’ve missed out on a lot of heartbreak and bum deals by being who I am.

  2. Pingback: Witty Wednesday-The Carmen Jones Effect Part 2 « Southern Girl in the City

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