amanda bynes ashley benson instagram

Remember a few months ago when everyone (including us) was merely perplexed by Amanda Bynes‘ behavior? Between the “vagina murder” thing and the DUIs, it seemed she was headed down a Lindsay Lohan path — former child star stealing, doing drugs, getting away with stuff and giving lots of interviews making fun of people she’s worked with for no good reason. Now, things are much clearer: Amanda Bynes is mentally ill. She’s stated she has an eating disorder, been arrested and is presently hospitalized in California after starting a fire in a retirement community. This is not comical, but Spring Breakers star Ashley Benson seems to think mocking Bynes not two days after she was placed under a 5150 is a great idea.

On her Instagram, Benson posted the photo on the left accompanied by the caption, “Doing my Amanda Bynes look this afternoon.” Suffice to say, this image troubled quite a few people, many of whom commented that it was needlessly cruel and degrading toward someone who is likely suffering from a serious mental illness, perhaps schizophrenia. I strongly doubt Benson would be mocking someone who just announced a lupus diagnoses two days ago; why should a different type of illness be any different?

Celebrities are not known to be the most sensitive and grounded of people, but discussing Bynes’ mental illness like it’s some giggly party act or, worse, a means by which to get more publicity isn’t all right. Psychological disorders are not phases, nor are they choices; making fun of that is incredibly tasteless.

Also (ready for my mini-soapbox?): When you see a person on the street who is clearly dealing with psychological issues, do not be rude to them for the sake of being rude. I understand it can be a bit uncomfortable, but remember that (A) nearly a fourth of the homeless population suffers from mental illness and (B) that person didn’t ask to have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or any other condition. I think it is good that so many people are defending Bynes right now, but I also hope that this means they are opposed to the horribly indifferent — and oftentimes harmful — ways people treat those who suffer internally.

Photos: Instagram & Twitter.