Sunday, 24-year-old Amanda Bynes quit Hollywood, Tweeting, "Being an actress isn't as fun as it may seem… you heard it here first, I've retired." FYI: Amanda's been working since age seven. Perhaps she made a wise decision?
The Daily Beast's Jacob Bernstein attempts to pin Amanda's retirement on crappy movies and "erratic behavior," writing "Hollywood had mostly broken up with her." But the road a child star follows is full of twists and turns, traps, possibilities and disappointments. And when a little girl grows up in the public eye — coming of age in Hollywood — there's no "right way" to do it.
Unlike Britney Spears — who famously sang, "I'm not a girl — not yet a woman" — Amanda Bynes didn't have a career that relied on jailbait sexuality. She went to comedy camp when she was a kid and started doing commercials when she was seven. She landed a part on Nickelodeon's All That when she was ten; and at the age of 12, Amanda became the youngest performer ever to host her own variety sketch program, The Amanda Show. She often said her favorite actress was Lucille Ball. But how do you transition from goofy kid into grown woman? Former Disney star Britney had a snake-toting "slave 4 u" phase; Disney star Miley Cyrus has been blasted for her provocative clothes and dance moves; after Disney star Christina Aguilera let the genie out of the bottle, she let everything but her labia hang out, too. Becoming a woman is tough under any circumstances, but in showbiz, it's even harder. Especially if you're female; it seems like cute and talented only gets you so far. There are notoriously crappy roles for women, and some people think women aren't as funny as men. Spring Breakdown goes straight to video; The Hangover makes millions. Drew Barrymore carved out an adult career after her numerous roles as a child (and rehab stints), but even in flicks like Never Been Kissed and 50 First Dates, her characters had a hint of innocence and adolescence — non-sexualized, "safe" for those who still thought of her as a child.
In the past, Amanda has chafed against the Lohan-esque wild-child route, saying: "I like to dance and stuff, but drinking isn't good for you in every way. It's not good for your skin; it makes you feel horrible… I like being with my family and friends, and I don't need to be out at the clubs." But more recently, she told Cosmo: "I'm finding a balance. I can have a drink and dance if I want. You have to go out to meet people and guys. I'm in that phase where I just want to have fun."
After a few underwheling, underperforming projects, earlier this year, Amanda posed for Maxim, telling the mag: "I had the best time on this shoot. I think every shot I did was sexy. Some people still see me as a kid, but I'm a 23-year-old woman now." Whether the shoot was her idea — or something management cooked up to spark interest — is unclear. Perhaps abandoning her goofy image wasn't a great move, but consider this old quote:
" I grew up with terrible acne and feeling insecure. I was tall and skinny. I didn't feel pretty at all, and guys didn't even like me. That's why I got into comedy."
When you no longer get noticed for trying to make people laugh, it might seem like a lingerie shoot is a good idea. The point is: It's hard enough trying to define yourself without the world watching. Maybe a little time off is what a girl wants.
Amanda Bynes Hits Trouble [The Daily Beast]