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Daddy Issues

Why are daddy issues mocked or fetishized, when at their root, they’re effectively a byword for absent, neglectful, and sometimes abusive parenting?

Girls with daddy issues are shown to be highly sexualised, eager to please, and interested in older men, and are desired for these reasons. But at the same time, they’re ridiculed for being clingy, possessive, hot messes.

Men fetishize women with daddy’s issues for their promiscuity, but demonize them for the exact same thing. In Euphoria, Cassie embodies this hot mess archetype. The show is clear in depicting the root of Cassie’s issues: her father lets her down, and creates a vacuum which she then needs to fill. The guys in her school see her only as this hyper-sexualised person, and frequently slut shame her because of it. Despite the guys she dates pushing her into going on camera, it’s Cassie who gets the bad reputation for that.

These so-called “hot mess” behaviors are often illustrative of an insecure attachment style, something that is born out of childhood trauma. So by reducing that down to a pejorative like “daddy issues,” we’re being far too flippant about something serious we should have sympathy for and help people productively address through getting help.