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No, I Don’t Want to Hear One More Thing About Amanda Bynes

Photograph by VLADIMIR LABISSIERE/SPLASH NEWS ONLINE

No more Amanda Bynes stories for me, please.

There I said it. I love Hollywood gossip just as much as anyone, but a line has to be drawn at watching someone with serious mental health issues battle it out in front of the cameras. So no, I don’t want to read, hear or see any more stories about troubled actress Amanda Bynes.

I realize this makes me a hypocrite.

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So first let me say I’m not going to lie to you like those, “She doth protest too much,” gals who claim to have no interest in or knowledge of what’s happening in Hollywood. Truthfully, I love a delicious celeb story just as much as anyone. Like a lot of people, following the comings and goings of my favorite celebrities feels like harmless entertainment.

I’m sure it stinks to be a celeb who gets followed around all day by a bunch of strangers with cameras, but sadly that loss of privacy comes with that super high pay check the stars get in exchange for being on TV or movies. I’ll gladly trade places with any of them. They can come over to my house. No one’s following me around with a camera. In fact, I can barely get my kids to look up when I’m speaking.

It’s also totally hypocritical to write a story about not wanting to read any more Amanda Bynes stories. Doesn’t that make this an Amanda Bynes story of some sort? Maybe, but I’m willing to take on being a hypocrite. This is important. Amanda Bynes seems to be out of control. She seems to be to be in serious danger. All the attention and water cooler fodder can only be making it worse. I simply don’t want to participate.

The charming precocious actress from "All That" and "Hairspray" is gone, replaced by someone in serious trouble.

Bynes was an adorably charming child star who made the crossover to mainstream adult fare like "Hairspray," in which she was talented and precocious. Not long after, the “Is she the next Lindsay Lohan” stories starting circulating, making Bynes fair game for late night talk show hosts, entertainment news shows and bloggers like myself quick to make jokes about troubled starlets.

It’s not fair that any celebrity becomes everyone else’s mindless entertainment, but one gets a sense that Lohan courts the cameras and even covets the attention. While sad to me in an “eww” sort of way, I don’t find myself feeling as sorry for Lohan as I do for Bynes. Unfair as it may seem, Lohan seems like a girl who loves the attention her behavior brings, where as Bynes seems like a girl who simply can’t control it.

Over the years, moms like myself have watched Bynes’ slow and disturbing descent into a sad state of whatever it is that ails her. We watch, knowing that there is very little chance for a happy ending to Bynes’ story. We hope she’s getting the help she needs in a private, safe setting. And we think of our own charming, precocious little girls and we shudder to think what it must be like for her parents to watch their child disappear in front of their eyes.

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Mental illness can quickly and swiftly take a loved one away. At least for now, the charming precocious actress from "All That" and "Hairspray" is gone, replaced by someone in serious trouble. Bynes is one of millions of Americans who seems to be suffering from some form of mental illness. And while her family has never disclosed what it is that’s wrong with their daughter, it’s hard to deny that her situation seems serious.

It’s unfair to make other celebrities’ foibles our mindless entertainment, but it’s unconscionable to think of Bynes’ story as entertainment of any kind. So I’m no longer following along. I simply don’t feel good about knowing. That is, unless her story does end with a happy Hollywood ending. In that case, I want to know.

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