Bendi Bindi Back!

The miniscule Wildlife Warrior and merchandising machine known as Bindi Irwin will be ten years old in a few days (July 24th). The development of her fan base in the wake of father Steve’s death has launched her into ‘superstar’ status. In fact, her fame has grown to the extent that the ‘Bindi Irwin’ name is quite possibly currently the most well known of any child on the planet!

There are signs that merchandising her name might propel her into the same earning league as the Olsen twins, but with the huge difference that Bindi is becoming well known as a child with a purpose. Whereas all other child stars are famous for being famous, Bindi, even at 10 years old has her fame grounded in a worthwhile cause. She is after all the undisputed queen of the mini-conservationists, pushing hard to bring the problems human society causes wildlife to the front pages of the world media. To be fair to Bindi herself, to mum Terri, and to Australia Zoo, as much as Bindi herself is being ‘marketed’, the underlying message is still heard loud and clear. Without serious ongoing intervention the next 50 years could see the extinction of 90% of ‘wildlife’ on the planet.

Bindy Irwin with 'Bindi Doll'

So the circus surrounding her upcoming ‘birthday party’ at Australia Zoo can be excused because whilst it *will* increase her personal fortune, increase her market ‘visibility’, and of course enhance the takings at the zoo… it will bring back to the forefront the message that all wildlife on the planet is interdependent and we continue to lose diversity at our own peril.

Look past the tacky merchandising and you’ll see a 10 year old girl with an ongoing mission to save the planet. It’s a lot to dump on the shoulders of one little girl, but she’s doing her bit just the same, and keeping her huge trademark grin while she’s about it.

Good onya Bindi… and Happy Birthday. Steve would still be very proud of you.


4 thoughts on “Bendi Bindi Back!

  1. Congrats on such a thought provoking news story = and its also makes me happy to read you getting into your sride again – good stuff = well done

  2. errrrr… what happened to being a 10yr old..? Not sure anyone should be encouraging a girl of that age to be an ‘undisputed queen’ of anything.! Using the Oslen twins is actually quite apt with the issues they have between the two of them.

    Wonderful cause, not so sure about the messenger…

    Yours (feeling slightly uncomforable about it all),

    Matt.

  3. A lot of us over here had similar concerns… i.e. that she was being pushed into merchandising and media commitments to capitalise on Steve’s image while he was a saleable commodity, however over the past year or so my opinion changed.

    Remember Bindi Irwin has *never* been a ‘normal’ girl nor has she ever had a ‘normal’ upbringing. When she was a tiny child her father carted her with him everywhere around the world. She was working with crocodiles and other deadly animals since she was a baby!! She was an old hand at media manipulation long before Steve died.

    The Olsen twins had to constantly ‘sell themselves’ as an entertainment concept in order to keep in the public eye. The effects a Hollywood mum and the need to keep under the spotlight has clearly had some sad effects on their lives, despite the wealth. They needed to find ‘work’ in order to make their place in the pantheon. Bindi has never had to. Initially she was famous simply by association with Steve and the Australia Zoo was a winning entity long before it’s publicity spotlight move to highlight her. After he died she didn’t have to carve out a spot for herself, she stepped out from his shadow, albeit 10 years of more earlier than anyone would have wanted. In terms of famous child personalities she’s pretty much in a unique position.

    The confident articulate child who amazed the world with her own handwritten eulogy at her fathers funeral while her mother was too distraught to cope *is* how she is. Like her father, she is just a ‘natural’ communicator.

    Steve (and Terri of course) had done an absolutely amazing job on getting this kid totally grounded in who she is and what she is long before Steve died so what you are seeing now *is* who she is.

    She has the whole of Australia Zoo as her backyard and playground, a massive personal fortune and adulation of millions of kids around the world… yet she still manages to appear in public as a normal kid who almost accidentally happens to be in front of a camera. She has many friends her own age here and in the states.

    I’m not for a second suggesting we should sacrifice one little girl on the altar of expediency in order to get a message across but she has a unique position to get the environmental and conservation message across to an entire generation in a way that adults can’t. She communicates with kids her own age because she believes in what she’s saying and doing and it comes across.

    She’s not some “cutesy, cutesy, saccharine dolly” type either. Other kids roll in the mud for publicity shots… this kid does it because it’s a part of the way she is. Ok she’ll quite possible never carry out the same sort of wildlife exploits her father did… but if the message comes across that we need to *do* something maybe that’s good enough.

    For all her wealth and fame, when you see her being herself in interviews, i.e. just being Bindi, she’s surprisingly ‘normal’ and unsophisticated. She’s a good kid.

    I hope she manages to keep it all together as she grows up, either way right now I like her. 🙂

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