I’m officially the world’s biggest hypocrite for this next sentence: maybe it’s time we start taking Amanda Bynes seriously. All over the internet, and especially here at this website, we’ve been reporting on her recent exploits — everything from hit-and-runs to DUIs to tweeting at Obama to fire the cop who arrested her. She’s been a hot mess all summer, and we’ve loved every minute of it. But now there’s a new report from TMZ that Amanda is struggling with some serious mental issues,and to be honest, I feel like kind of a dick. As well I should.
I make a living writing about celebrities. I don’t know these people, but I poke fun at them anyway, some of the time in ways that seriously offend their fans. But at the same time, I really try to only take shots at people who are intentionally putting it all out there. People on reality shows are the perfect example — if you’re letting me see your personal life, and you’re making money off of it, I really don’t see why it’s not fair for me to make some money off ridiculing you for it, as long as I make it clear that it’s my opinion and not rock-solid scientific fact. With celebrities it’s a little trickier, because they didn’t choose for their personal lives to be splashed across the media, that just happened because they’re so effing famous that we want to know all about them all the time. But, again, I try to only target people who I think can take it, and not in an overly mean way. (Sorry, Madonna’s arms, sometimes I get carried away.) I truly believe that, just like the rest of us, some celebrities are hot messes and it’s okay for them to get called out on that. But as I’ve learned, there’s a stark difference between a hot mess and a plain old mess, and that brings me back to Amanda Bynes.
According to these reports, from people at Amanda’s gym, she’s been showing increased signs of ‘deterioration’ — talking to herself and responding back, pausing her workouts to laugh hysterically at nothing, and generally showing signs of being genuinely not okay. Which actually makes sense, if you think about it. If you had a friend in your personal life who had four car accidents in a single summer, would you assume they were okay and keep poking fun at them? No, probably not, but that’s what I did with Amanda. For some reason I assume that because she’s a celebrity, she’s got it under control. If one of my friends was behaving like she is, it would be clear to me that she was going through something pretty dark in her life. But when I see someone famous doing the same things, I immediately write it off as them ‘acting out’ or being ridiculous, even though all the signs are there.
Remember the last time all the signs were there? Back in 2007 with our old friend Britney Spears? It was super fun to make fun of her, too, until she shaved her head and had her kids taken away and had to go to the hospital for an extended stay. And then those are distinctly un-fun things for celebrity bloggers to have to think about, because they’re signs of mental illness instead of a byproduct of being a selfish celebrity. A celebrity who’s a crazy bitch is great fun to write about…until it turns out they’re actual struggling with stuff, mentally, and then you’re just an unobservant douche. Like me.
(Image: Beiny / Fu / WENN.com)