Every few months I do something completely against my moral fibre. I Google Amanda Bynes. And while I wait for the search results to load, I hope to find Bynes healthy, although history decrees that this is probably not the case.
In the past four years, I’ve witnessed the former Nickelodeon star retire from acting (twice), commit a hit and run (twice), and fight a criminal drug possession charge. Bynes made headlines today for driving under the influence; also her second charge. I’ve joined millions this week clicking through photos of Bynes acting bizarrely through the streets of New York; riding her bike erratically and in the ghetto-Gucci-chic attire she dons during her episodes.
This is not a clear-cut case of child star-gone-bad; Amanda Bynes is mentally ill. This makes my voyeur behavior not okay.
Last time I checked in with Bynes, by all reports, she was a good place and living with her supportive parents. In July 2013, Bynes was found by police disorientated and setting a fire in a stranger’s driveway. This lead to an involuntary psychiatric hold imposed by the state; where she received the dual diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar.
This breakdown was paved with alarm bells Bynes sent through Twitter. With bloodshot eyes, Bynes posted strange scantily-clad selfies, punctuated with provocative Tweets of the “I want @drake to murder my vagina” variety. Who could forget when Bynes called a number of high-profile celebrities ugly; even President Obama wasn’t safe from her tirades.
These salacious Tweets garnered hundreds of thousands hits, and Bynes seemed to be the gift that kept on giving. Every time she spoke to a magazine, the stories were more candid, and her Tweets intensified. Clearly, something was wrong.
For six months after the fire incident, we heard very little Bynes. She went away to a long-term in-patient program. After completion, Bynes’ parents were granted full legal rights over her affairs, including her health and in March she re-emerged via Twitter, appearing as the vivacious actress we once knew. However, this news doesn’t sell as well as when she was sick.
Now, Bynes is back – reportedly out of her parent’s care, racking up more offenses and off her medication. Magazines are excited: “Amanda Bynes: High, Bizarre, and off to NYC” one article was titled, “Her Ups and Downs Photos” says another.
The media is having a field day because Bynes is back on Twitter, and talking to her 3.3 million followers. She is sicker than ever, telling magazines that she is engaged to a 19-year-old, while “sources” say the union is a figment of her imagination.
Journalists are waiting with baited breath for her next move, so they can collate more “10 Weirdest Things Amanda Bynes Has Done” slideshows. The reality is, we are feeding Amanda Bynes’ illness with every retweet, we are not giving her the space to step away from it all and get the help she needs. Even through this article, I’m bringing more destructive attention to her.
Following her arrest and return to NYC, Amanda Bynes is back in full force. Each of Bynes’ erratic Tweets earn her over 10,000 acknowledgements. We need to step back and ask ourselves – what part are we playing in her demise? If we stopped reading salacious articles about her, and unfollowed her social media accounts, would removing her platform help her?
Just maybe, if we ignore Amanda Bynes for long enough, hopefully, she will go away and get the help she needs.