Earlier this week, the interwebs were abuzz with the news that little-known character actor Doug Hutchison – who played small roles in The Green Mile, Lost and 24 – married a 16-year-old aspiring singer and beauty queen in Las Vegas.
At first, criticism all seemed to be levelled against Hutchison, since he happens to be 51 years old, but then it was discovered that his child bride, Courtney Stodden, had shot low-rent music videos of herself as some Ke$ha rip-off, had filmed anti-bullying PSAs and talking about how her boobs are real — or, as Courtney …
… put it, “rull” — and took pictures of herself nude on the beach wrapped in an American flag. Naturally, it was time to slut-shame. While people were still grossed out, the tide of attention turned to Stoddard, with people laughingly suggesting that her plastered-on make-up made her look like a 40-year-old, and that her breasts were clearly fake and she was clearly slutty. Because 16-year-old girls have great judgment and fully-formed personalities, after all.
You see, Courtney Stodden, argues one journalist, clearly has Daddy Issues. Forget for a second that her father is still in the picture and, by the way, gives his full consent to the marriage. No, it’s not that Hutchison is a pedophile, it’s that Courtney was looking for a daddy figure — clearly she was the predator in this relationship.
The problem with the concept of “Daddy Issues” is this: who doesn’t have them, in theory? Either you were a Daddy’s girl, and now no man will ever measure up to your shining beacon of masculinity, or perhaps your father was abusive, hurtful or emotionally distant and you’re constantly seeking male approval. Then again, maybe your Dad left the picture entirely, and now you’re looking for a father figure to start from scratch. Of course this is a gross simplification of any girl’s relationship with her father, but the truth is that when it’s convenient, we can all be accused of having “Daddy Issues” – it’s just a matter of which kind.
Enough is enough, though. Courtney Stodden might look like a tramp, and she might remind you of that bitchy girl from high school, but she’s still a 16-year-old and he’s still a 51-year-old. If you are going to find fault with this relationship — and it’s hard not to — do place that fault where it belongs, please.