Darren Star is a gay man, and he chose the actors for the show mostly by appearances. Even before the audition started, Star had a very clear picture of how the main characters should look like, and he stubbornly tried to find people who were embodying his vision. That's why he basically forced Kim Cattrall to participate, even refused twice, and he nearly missed Cynthia Nixon, who was blonde, and he was looking for a red-head.
His choice was, as we already know, very effective. Four main female characters are attractive women, but not sex-bombs, so female audience had no problem relating to them. On the contrary, the main romantic interest is a very handsome man, in a very traditional, classic sense. Chris North was also casted mainly for looks and in spite of his already established TV personality. As Star himself confessed later, "If I knew that Mr. Big was running around New York City with a gun, I would certainly have found someone else." But the Star did not watch «Law and Order».
Although Miranda Hobbes, Charlotte York and Samantha Jones are present in the book, they are completely different characters than in a novel. But Carrie of the book is, basically Carrie of the show and same is the man of her dreams. And they are almost real people.
It is a common believe that Carrie is an alter ego of Candas Bushnel, and I have no reason not to believe in it. This is even more likely, because in the sixth chapter Carrie bumps on a "writer friend” in the street and he says: "You look exactly like heather Locklear! “ Heather Locklear actually belongs to the same phenotype as Bushnel, so it is logical. At least, they resemble each other more than any of them to Sarah Jessica Parker. It is clear, that Star preferred the main character had more edgy, sharp looks than its conservative, WASP-type, prototype. So, here is what Carrie looks like “for real”: