On September 29, 2017, Amanda Bynes was seen for the first time in three months shopping at a local LA grocery store with her life coach. Now 31 years old, she looks almost unrecognizable, but in a good way - there are no intense wigs or cheek piercings, just a simple cardigan and a pair of oversized specs.
Amanda Bynes seen for the first time in three months. Spotted grocery shopping in a Los Angeles supermarket. pic.twitter.com/WQy3lezIhH— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) September 30, 2017
The actress has been working on getting her life and career back on track since her public breakdown on Twitter in 2012. For many fans, Bynes' transition from promising star to tabloid personality was both sudden and unexpected.
"I'd love to do something that would shock people, something that's against type," Bynes told Cosmopolitan back in 2008. Such statement came after a decade of successful television and movie roles, from her first sitcom What A Girl Wants in 2002 to Hairspray in 2007, which landed her a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Penny Pingleton. Even her last movie, Easy A in 2010, did superbly at the box office.
Despite her success in finding roles, Bynes still seemed displeased to be constantly typecast as the quirky and clumsy character that primarily served as comic relief for a story. It seemed that she desperately wanted much more for herself; to be liberated from the preteen genre and to be perceived as a more serious actress. As she struggled to break free, Lindsay Lohan, her contemporary, was able to achieve what she had always wanted: career maturity.
Some say the severe typecasting was the main cause of her unseemly behaviour. Between 2012 and 2015, Bynes' life was caught in a whirlwind of controversial activities and bad press. She took to Twitter to get out her frustrations, from publicly ranting about Hitler to calling Barack Obama, Jay-Z and Rihanna 'ugly'. Of course, no one can forget the infamous tweet where she declared her desire for Drake to "murder [her] vagina."
Other sources say that her breakdown was directly related to her break-up with her ex-boyfriend Kid Cudi. Some even said that it's what led her to change her appearance to be more like Blac Chyna.
All of these instances got her into legal trouble, but it wasn't until October of 2014 when things really started to turn for the worst. Bynes was placed on psychiatric hold at a hospital after a series of extremely erratic and bizarre behaviour. She had accused her father of sexual abuse, then took her statement back to say that her dad "never did any of those things" and that "the microchip in [her] brain made [her] say those things, but he's the one that ordered them to microchip [her]."
Even more, she was put into conservatorship of her parents and went to rehab for six months for starting a fire (and possibly dousing her dog in gasoline) in a stranger's driveway.
Later that year, she admitted to having been diagnosed bipolar and manic depressive. She announced her plans to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, and after a few more random tweets and selfies, she stopped tweeting altogether.
But her lawyer, Tamar Arminak, encourages fans to still follow Amanda on Twitter. He reports that she is doing well, is excited about school and is just trying to move forward with her life. The recent photos released of her latest public appearance are proof of her improving condition - to have the courage to face the world after everything she's been through is a truly admirable feat on her part.