I just watched the first interview Amanda Bynes has done in years, and it has to be one of the most painful 5 minutes I've forced myself to sit trough. I love Amanda Bynes and will likely always root for her the way I do for Britney. "What a Girl Wants" is still one of my favorite movies, and I'm happy to hear she seems to have her life back and is planning exciting and productive projects. But seriously. This interview is everything wrong with society.
First, the initial remarks made about fashion and pointing out Amanda's "lace, ready for summer" look, was so inspired, I believed none of the interviewer's enthusiasm. I imagine this interview must have been exciting and nerve wracking for Amanda and you can see she is trying to remain utmostly composed and poised. Her responses felt very manicured, so I don't feel like I really know how she is doing. I don't think that was her fault necessarily though--the whole interview felt very contrived and superficial.
What really made me want to blow my brains out was the "hot or not" nonsense. Somebody please tell me what was the point of that? This was her first interview in years and that's how we want to reintroduce her? Frivolously judging her former co-stars and people they didn't fact check to see whether she really knew or not? "Oh, not every Disney and Nick star knows each other?" *FACEPALM.* Lord, have mercy. Based on the intro, I thought the interviewer was at least some kind of superficial acquaintance of hers, but clearly their relationship is exactly that--superficial.
When I was a kid and a teen, I loved seeing a girl close in age to me, on TV, who was just funny and silly. It made me feel like it was okay to be a goofball. That's what I loved about Amanda. Who knows if we'll ever see that spark and life back in her eyes. Maybe the drugs and the industry took it out of her. However, is this all we cared to see of her on her great return to the public eye? Nothing more than a few humdrum comments, reminiscing on her drug infused days, and mindless teenage games? Did we really have to make her repeat and explain "murder my vagina?" I know she didn't mean it to be offensive, and I guess it's good she's owning up to her past drug use, but the language is offensive and uneducated. As someone who regularly speaks out against sexual assault, I'm going to flat out say that that kind of language is not okay. So what was the significance in even bringing that up?
When Amanda says that she's doing "great, really great" and the interviewer responds with "you look beautiful," it's as if she has run out of vocabulary or could really care less, because she already opened the show with, "First of all, you look GORGEOUS." No matter, it feels like such repeated compliments are simply overemphasizing the focus on physical appearance. It's as if it's a thing we just do with girls--tell each other how good our hair looks, how our skin glows, and all that nonsense--just to say something. I remember as a kid, and even to this day actually, people would tell my mom how pretty and well-behaved I am, but no one would ever talk about how smart or talented I was. Why do we hyper focus on physical appearance? Sure, it's the first thing we notice, but when we don't move past that to notice everything else about a person, we are completely missing the person. And that is my frustration. There is nothing wrong with noticing someone's physical beauty, but when you can't move beneath the skin it feels meaningless. Why not ask her more about what she is loving about fashion school? Why not ask her about what TV shows she is loving and would love to have a guest spot on? Why not ask her about her experience with feeding the homeless?
I don't know if it was the interviewer, the editors, the producers, or even Amanda and her team who didn't thoroughly think this through, but all of us need to start valuing people more. That is what frustrated me about this interview--the seemingly lack of human value and dignity. When I saw the headline come up on my Twitter feed that Amanda Bynes is back and has given her first interview in ages, I was excited. Then I watched it and I don't know how she is really doing. I hope she truly is "really great," and I wish her all the best and am looking forward to what we'll see from her.
Amanda, girl, welcome back!
BIG LOVE & HUGS