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.
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.