Guys…is Amanda Bynes OK?
There are a number of reasons to be concerned about the former Nickelodeon star. She has racked up so many traffic violations and accidents over the past few years that there is a very real possibility that she was confusing the freeway for a bumper-car course. There’s the story about her disoriented jaunt through a tanning salon, naked as the day she was born. She has also reportedly been booted from her New York City apartment.
But the latest red flag that the 26-year-old is spiraling down a worrisome rabbit hole is the gasp-inducing makeover photo the star posted on her Twitter account. Oh, it should be said that in this case “makeover” means “turned self into a terrifying amalgamation of Snooki, Lil’ Kim, and Grimace from McDonald’s.”
Where does one even begin with this? The false eyelashes so ridiculously large and heavy that she cannot keep the one eye she’s not winking fully open? The fact that she appears to have had lip injections from Lisa Rinna’s plastic surgeon? The wig so blatantly synthetic it looks like hair from a Barbie? The daggers being passed off as fingernails? The piercings in her cheeks?
Gone is the girl next door. Here is the girl on her way to a casting call for Rock of Love. Amanda Bynes no longer looks anything like Amanda Bynes.
There was a time when Bynes, more so than any of her Disney Channel/Nickelodeon peers, seemed like the Next Great Comedic Actress. There was a Lucille Ball–like fearlessness to her daffy brand of physical comedy that seemed to be refreshingly natural. Her decision—announced via Twitter—to leave the business was disappointing, but understandable. Who are we to demand our child stars decide that thing they did when they were kids is also the thing they should be forced to do when they grow up? If that was true, then there would be significantly more professional tag players in this world.
The frustrating thing that we’re seeing now is the maddening near-certainty that we’re witnessing a bright young girl spin out of control and lose herself to odd delusions and an increasingly narrow sense of reality. It’s not just the clownish makeover. She’s had a DUI, multiple hit-and-runs, her car impounded, and was photographed driving and smoking weed. Her assessment of the situation: “I’m doing amazing.”
TMZ reported last month that she moved from her New York City apartment after being threatened with eviction because she was allegedly smoking so much marijuana—“morning, noon, and night” and even in the hallways—that her neighbors felt that booting her from the building was their only recourse. Also it was a nonsmoking building.
A few weeks later, she completed a “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me” questionnaire for Us Weekly. Most of the “things” were typically innocuous—she likes online shopping, Diet Coke is her favorite soda, she’s Polish. But then, No. 11: “I gain weight quickly and need to work out constantly.” And No. 15: “I moved to New York City and I love it! I lost 4 lbs. since I moved. I’m 121 lbs.—my goal is 100 lbs.”
Sure, it’s easy to laugh and tease when someone who is rich and famous posts a selfie on Twitter and they are exactly what one would imagine a drag queen oompa loompa would look like. But there’s clearly something more worrying—even dangerous—going on here.
“Troubled” is a word we often apply to stars like Lindsay Lohan, and now Amanda Bynes, when they begin behaving erratically. But perhaps “troubled” is the wrong word here. These are stars who are “in trouble.” They need rescuing. So how do we do it?