I am obsessed with the Amanda Bynes’ story.
For many, it might simply be another Hollywood child star gone wrong. The same with Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus. But for me, I find Amanda’s outwardly erratic behaviour uniquely intriguing.
Amanda rose to stardom at a very young age and at her early 20’s, which was the peak of her career, she ‘retired’ from Hollywood showbiz. But that did not stop paparazzi from following her (obviously), she had since then done some plastic surgery, had her dimple pierced, got arrested for various charges (drugs, driving with a suspended licence…) and sent really weird tweets, such as calling Miley Cyrus ugly, mocked Rhianna for being beaten up by Chris Brown, and that Amanda’s father inserted a microchip into her brain.
This is what she looks like now:
I love her movies. She’s the Man, Hair spray, What a Girl Wants….Unlike Lindsay, who always plays the girly girl, Amanda was that cool tomboy who was so comfortable in her own skin. She was courageous, full of wit, cute and talented.
But just as Miley Cyrus is not Hannah Montana, Amanda Bynes is not Viola Hastings (from She’s the Man) neither. They protested that it was the audience, us, who has been obsessed with who they were in the movies, and judged them based on a completely artificial movie character that represented themselves.
The need to break free from a fictitious character is understandable. Being an actor since a child, and living under the public limelight do make one confuses about who they actually are. I am not in the showbiz, nor under public scrutiny, so I am incapacble to form an opinion about Amanda.
What I can comment is that I know identity crisis is not merely a superstar problem, teenagers and young adults are equally addicted to searching for ‘their true selves’. There are personality tests, horoscope analyses and the lot to depict who you actually are. Even when people reach their middle age, or after a huge life crisis, or even for an ordinary man living an ordinary life would question the self worth and all.
I have been trying to search for my true identity for years. Some people say to me, you got to stop pleasing people and start being who are actually are. Every time I heard this I was like, what if pleasing people is simply who I am? I am a people pleaser and if I am not impressing people I have lost my self worth and identity? So I started not to please people, and it turned to another extreme. People start saying that I have become an arrogant, self-obsessed scumbag who could not stop bragging about myself.
It was at this point I finally understand the bizarre yet wonderful idea of ‘self identity’. The need to search for a self-identity, is ultimately an extreme categorisation. You pick and choose what kind of identity. If you choose to be an emo, you have your fringe covers your eyes. If you are a femme tomboy, you copy how Alexa Chung dresses. You want to be ‘geek chic’, then you try to read something substantial and put on a pair of thick rimmed glasses….
The more we try to break free from a certain adjective you are not happy with, and then conform to the ideal adjective you want to be as, the more confused we get as a result. The search of self identity is as artificial as writing a movie script, and to get obsessed with one identity to another just twists what the so-called ‘true self’ actually is.
The words you use to describe yourself has ultimately abused your true identity. You swing from one word to another word and get dizzy and upset.
Viola Hastings in She’s the Man was into playing football, but not obsessed with whether football playing makes her boyish or not. The less we try to analyse, the more we do what we love to do, the more comfortable you could be in your own skin.
I really hope she gets well soon, and enjoy what she genuinely loves to do in her real life.