What has Amanda Bynes Become?

Social media allows us to receive instant updates from celebrities. When they post or upload something, even only for one second, most likely someone has seen it. If they post something that doesn’t appeal to their fans that comes from different backgrounds, or as Marwick and boyd calls it the “lowest common denominator,” the celebrities might risk losing some of their fans. However, the idea of the “lowest common denominator” is not adopted by all of the celebrities and Amanda Bynes is a perfect example of that.

Everyone knows Amanda Bynes from a lot of different channels. Some through Nickelodeon or maybe through She’s the Man. However, the Amanda Bynes of that era has faded, and has been replaced by what she has been posting on Twitter. She was on Buzzfeed and a lot of different media channels, where she was laughed at due to her tweets. She doesn’t care about what people think or say, she will say what she wants to say on Twitter.

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Screenshot taken by Author on Nov. 2nd

She clearly did not care about her reputation, especially as a former actress, even though she was very popular in her early years. As a celebrity, she should be mindful of what she post online as what goes online can be easily viewed and tracked by everyone. However, she may have tailored and crafted her tweets this way on purpose and is bringing her offline identity to her online identity. Amanda Bynes might just be the most authentic celebrity on Twitter, as her twitter might just be her diary that is public for everyone to see.

Amanda Bynes’ posts became viral and her pictures were shared all around the internet. Most of the audience did not understand how Amanda Bynes has changed so much. In their hearts, she was a sweet girl that has appeared on numerous shows and movies, and even though she is not as popular as Beyonce, she was still a role model that young girls look up to. However, some believe that she is only being true to herself, and even applauded her for it. In Amy Dobson’s article, “The ‘Grotesque Body’ in Young Women’s Self Presentation on MySpace,” she discusses the idea of ‘grotesque’ as a female body that is out of control, which is “aligned with the narrative of humiliation and degradation of the female object.” With respect to Amanda Bynes’ behavior and the pictures that she posts on Twitter, Dobson would definitely consider them ‘grotesque’ as she has stepped over the boundaries from ‘hetero-sexy,’ where she was on magazine covers and pictures in magazines, to ‘grotesque,’ where she re-post pictures that other people have created such as her face on the body of a poodle.

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Screenshot taken by Author on Nov. 3rd

Why were we all shocked when Amanda Bynes’ posted such ‘grotesque’ pictures of herself and spoke her mind on Twitter? Just because she is a celebrity that doesn’t mean she can’t be authentic on Twitter. Dobson provides us with another viewpoint that we fetishize and idealize the celebrities because they are unreachable to the audience, but when Amanda Bynes’ posts such ‘grotesque’ pictures of herself, she is more humanized, as even celebrities would have such an unattractive side and especially that they are willing to post it online for the world to see. Since we realized that the celebrity that we once idolize also has a grotesque side, we automatically think that they are insane, and that there must be something wrong with them because usually celebrities do not do this. However, this also serves as a reminder that even celebrities are human, they also have a grotesque side.

Some may say that Amanda Bynes is being too over-the-top. She sounds constantly being over dramatic in her tweets, to the point where it is what Hugo Liu in his article, “Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances,” consider as being theatrical. Liu describes the characteristics of being theatrical as being over-the-top to the extent that it is an obvious performance to the audience, being inauthentic to the point where it is obvious and that they are very artificial. Amanda Bynes definitely fit into this category of theatrical for some of us as she does feel like as though she is desperately looking for attention, to the point where one of her tweets got her an article featuring that particular tweet on Vanity Fair. However, maybe she is actually being authentic, because according to Marwick and boyd in “To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter,” Amanda Bynes definitely interacts with her followers and it is her who is posting all these tweets and not her manager or her publicists. It is her that is managing the account and portraying a certain image that she wants the public to know about. Yet maybe the problem lies with us as we have this image of a perfect teen in our minds that we are blinded and did not see that she has grown up into being a woman that is actually capable of posting such thoughts.

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Screenshot Taken by Author on Nov 3rd

Twitter allows us to post anything we want on their and Amanda Bynes has definitely used this feature of Twitter to its full potential. Lots of buzz had been generated around her in the beginning of this year but not anymore because she cannot update her Twitter account because she is in a rehabilitation center. However, I just can’t wait to see what she will post on Twitter when she can get access to it once again.


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