Spoiler alert: If you’ve started watching season two of Euphoria, you know that Cassie has become quite controversial. She has been villainized, and rightfully so to an extent, for betraying Maddy by sleeping with her ex-boyfriend. She has been getting a lot of hate this season from fans. I understand why some feel this way, but I think Cassie’s characterization is so much more complex than a friend breaking “girl code.”
Cassie represents a fantasy to the men in the show. No male character takes the time to truly see or understand her. They only value her based on the sexualization of her body. She does contribute to her own sexualization, but I think that’s because she has been conditioned to believe that is the only valuable thing about herself. She uses her sexuality in an effort to obtain validation and even love.
Whether you love her or hate her, we’ve all been Cassie at some point. We’ve all spent too much time getting ready for a passing moment in the hallway. We’ve all worn a certain outfit in hopes that one particular guy will take notice. We’ve all felt hurt, used, and only valued for our bodies or what we can do for a man. When you’re stuck in this cycle, it can be really hard to become aware of how toxic it is, much less escape it.
So yes, Cassie wrongs her friend. Nate also, however, takes advantage of a drunk and deeply insecure Cassie who he knows is his ex-girlfriend’s best friend. I’m not saying that insecurity or alcohol are an excuse for hurting the people we love, but I think that Nate is just as much, if not more, at fault than Cassie.
As you’re watching the rest of Euphoria this season, I hope that you can see Cassie through this lens as well. Whether you relate to her or not, I think we can agree that she is hurting people because she is hurting.