The year is 2008. Amanda Bynes is a household name, and still holds her funny, good girl image from her Nickelodeon days. Skip to 2012, and Bynes is still a household name, but for a whole different reason. Gone is her reputation as a screen sweetheart. She’s now known for her public break downs, her controversial Twitter feed, and her many brushes with the law.
Amanda Bynes’ break down came seemingly out of the blue for many of her fans and the media. But in her first big interview with PAPER Magazine, she reveals that there were countless things that attributed to her actions. Body image and drugs began to play large parts in her life and took a toll on her mental health.
“I started smoking marijuana when I was 16. Even though everyone thought I was the ‘good girl,’ I did smoke marijuana from that point on.” She hastens to add, “I didn’t get addicted [then] and I wasn’t abusing it. And I wasn’t going out and partying or making a fool of myself… yet.” She says this last part with a self-aware laugh… “Later on it progressed to doing molly and ecstasy,”
Bynes’ real downfall began when she started abusing Aderall in order to stay thin. She recalls reading an article about Aderall being the new “skinny pill” and decided she had to get on it. Bynes saw a psychiatrist and feigned the symptoms of ADD in order to get a prescription for the drug. Once she had it, she fell deeper into drug abuse.
Drug abuse and negative body image began to press on the young starlet and she was feeling lower than ever. Arguably on of her most notable film roles, She’s the Man, played a big part in how she felt about her self and her self esteem. Seeing herself on screen as a boy was “an interesting experience” for Bynes.
“When the movie came out and I saw it,” she says, “I went into a deep depression for 4-6 months because I didn’t like how I looked when I was a boy.” She paused. “I’ve never told anyone that.” Seeing herself with short hair and sideburns was “a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk.”
The events that followed all led to her eventual public meltdown. Bynes chronicles these, speaking of her embarrassment and regret, and the ways that drugs and the pressure of the public eye so harshly damaged her life and her feelings of self worth.
Amanda Bynes has truly brought herself back from the brink. She’s now four years sober and is working towards rebuilding her life. Since 2014, Bynes has been attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She is now looking to focus on her continued health and healing and pursuing what makes her happy.
Amanda Bynes has made the triumphant return that we were all rooting for. She’s committed herself to picking up the pieces and working towards a life in which she is happy. Going forth with no fear, and with a determination that strives her through every day.
“I think that’s kind of how I go about [life] now — like, what’s there to lose? I have no fear of the future. I’ve been through the worst and came out the other end and survived it so I just feel like it’s only up from here.”
Read the full interview with PAPER Mag here.
Image Source: PAPER Magazine/Danielle Levitt