Bindi Irwin, nearly 16: ‘I’m a big advocate for young girls dressing their age’


Bindi Irwin turns 16 years old in one month. Is that depressing or life-affirming? Or both? I remember when her dad died, and the news kept running the footage of Steve holding baby Bindi for the first time. So… depressing, yes. But life-affirming because she has her father’s love of animals and she’s carrying on his legacy admirably and with a great deal of grace. So, for a little early celebration of her 16th birthday, Bindi gave a new interview where she talked about dressing her age and being an old soul. I swear to God, she should be Taylor Swift’s new playdate. They would be perfect for each other! Here are some quotes from Bindi:

A life in khaki: “I guess for me, because I wear khaki so much — waking up every day at the zoo, you just kind of grab your khaki uniform and you’re pretty much good to go — that when I get out of khaki I like to experiment and see how things go. I suppose the last year or so really I’ve been starting to have some fun and see what I can do with make-up and wardrobe and be a little bit of a girlie girl. Finding that great line between comfort and looking semi-good is fantastic.”

She wants girls to dress their age: “I’m a big advocate for young girls dressing their age. I mean, for me, I look around at a lot of young girls that are my age and they’re always trying to dress older. Whether it’s wearing revealing clothes or hardly wearing any clothes at all, I feel really bad for them. It kind of has the opposite effect in some ways … it kind of does the opposite where it makes you look younger and like you’re trying too hard.”

Words of wisdom from a 15-year-old: “I almost wish I could tell young girls, ‘look, in 10 years when you look back at yourself, you’ll cringe honey, honestly.’ A lot of times I want to grab these girls and say ‘look … in 10 years you’ll regret this. Just dress like who you are. Don’t try so hard. A pair of jeans and a T-shirt is just as gorgeous and even makes you look classier’.”

Old Soul: “My mum and I, we were playing this game, how old would you be if you didn’t know how old you really are? Like how old is your soul? And I said ‘I’d be 86’. I suppose it’s just who I am. I find that what I’m passionate about and what I talk about … I actually have a better connection with older people than I do with younger people. I like cups of tea and reading books and poetry and old people things.”

[From News Corp]

She comes across as slightly judgy, but let’s be real – I judge more than this before I roll out of bed in the morning. Her thoughts are fine for a 15 year old. I applaud her. She seems to be a smart girl with a streak of Taylor Swift-ism. It’s not the worst thing to be modest and conservative (small-c). And she’s right – as a woman much older than Bindi, I too look at some of the tweens and teen girls and wonder how in the hell their mothers let them out of the house wearing some of those ensembles.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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62 Responses to “Bindi Irwin, nearly 16: ‘I’m a big advocate for young girls dressing their age’”

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  1. Frida_K says:

    She has a pretty face and it sounds like she has a sweet, practical, and down-to-earth personality. Good for her! I remember when her dad died and am happy for her to see that she’s grown up to be such a nice young woman. I’ll bet her pops would be very, very proud of her.

    • doofus says:

      you said everything was going to. what a sweet, sensible, and together young woman. she has such a pretty smile.

    • heidi says:

      I applaud her for her sensible nature and convictions. She’s already making a valuable contribution to our world. Best wishes Bindi!

      • Suzy from Ontario says:

        I agree. She’s getting a lot of flak from the Free the Nipple people apparently but I think she’s actually speaking to a lot of young teen girls who look at the young Jenner girls and other of their ilk and feel pressured to dress “sexy” and look older by wearing things that imo, are inappropriate for their ages. To me, it sounds like she’s trying to reassure them that it’s okay to be 14 or 15 and dress that age and that you don’t have to dress like you’re 28, and that that time will come. I’m sure her words are a relief to many young girls and their parents! A lot of girls feel pressured by the media and then their friends who follow along …but dressing older can bring a lot of unwanted attention that they aren’t emotionally ready to handle (or even want). Have fun but don’t be in such a rush to grow up. I think it’s a good message and it shocks me that she’s being slammed for it by a lot of people. Her Dad would be proud of her and Teri has done a good job in a difficult situation raising her.

      • littlestar says:

        I actually kind of agree with her. Girls her age aren’t “dressing for themselves”, they are dressing for other people and hoping to get attention (albeit negative attention). Recently I was driving down a busy street in my city and stopped at a red light. Three teen girls (I’d say around 15ish) walked across the street in front of me in skin tight clothing and little shorts – their butt cheeks were hanging out, that’s how short and tight their shorts were :S. It made me sad. Why does a 15 year old girl feel the need to dress that way?

        And yes, Bindi Irwin will have a career in 10-15 years time (here’s hoping she continues her education as well to learn more about animals), while the Jenner girls will very likely be living in poverty, as they have no skills or education :( .

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Getting flak from Free the Nipple at age 15 is probably a good thing.

  2. Annaloo. says:

    It’s great to see her carrying on her father’s legacy, and it’s even better to see her deep love of animals. Steve Irwin must be smiling from the heavens.

  3. eliza says:

    Obviously I do not know this young lady personally but I have heard little tales about her being a little, entitled know it all diva.

    Not sure if those stories are true or not but she strikes me kinda that way.

    • heebeegeebee says:

      Careful, calling a girl “entitled” and” know it all” are society’s way of demonizing hardworking, smart young women

      • amanda says:


        When I think back of why I dressed the way I did when I was 15, I had this flat belly, the glowing skin, I was just starting to pay attention to myself and how others saw or paid attention to me, and I think that’s normal as a teen (which is also the reason it makes teenage years so hard, I think).

        Girls dress half-naked because they’re looking for attention and because they want to. They want to see how certain outfits make them feel. They want to piss somebody off (and dressing scantily will always offend somebody). They’re figuring out how they want to present themselves, who they are and they want the reactions of the World to those choices.

        It always comes off as slutty (IMO). We’re usually just getting into dating and trying to attract people, if only for the thrill and game of seeing if we can (we’re teenagers, we don’t know what we’re doing). We have more freedom from our home life (especially when you get your license) so we run with it.

        That being said, it is sad that girls ‘feel’ they have to dress a certain way, or there aren’t more role models for ‘dressing to leave something to the imagination’ being the ‘cool’ thing to do as a teenager, but when you’re a teenager, it’s not about that.

        I think it’s in your personality, how you’re raised, the friends you keep, etc. So it can be dangerous and sometimes I look back and go ‘no wonder my mom didn’t let me wear that out of the house’ or ‘what was i thinking? I’m so naked!”, but it was fine for me at the time, I felt good. I was experimenting (I had a gothic phase, an Avril Lavigne-punk phase, a girly phase, a beach-skanky phase). I never dressed ‘half naked’ because others were doing it and I truly just wanted to fit in.

        She has grown up working in khakis, like she said, so she has this unique view. She’s not worrying what she’s wearing every day, she’s not trying to get boys’ attention with her clothes, but a lot of teenagers are, and that’s probably why she says what she says and why she gets along with older people, who are still interested in what they wear, but it’s more modest because they’re older and they’ve got their style figured out more I think.

        She’s so beautiful and seems so smart. I hope good things come to her all her life.

      • eliza says:

        For the record, I did not call her that. I read those comments in a few articles. Blame the gossip columnists not me. I merely repeated what I had “heard” (read).

        Perhaps I should have stated that in my opinion, she seems spoiled.

  4. Erinn says:

    And she didn’t really say that girls CAN’T dress like that. She just stated the obvious fact that it DOES make some of them just look like little girls dressing much older. There wasn’t a whole lot of shaming in her statement, so good for her.

  5. Lady says:

    Bless her, she’s at that age where she is trying to define who she is because we feel as though we need to declare ourselves. With her, its endearing even if she is banging the drum a wee bit too hard. She must have the most awesome life though, what a lucky little thing!

  6. SW says:

    She’s been bashed for being anti feminism from this. I don’t see that. She’s not saying “don’t dress skanky, the boys will see” she’s saying that you’re going to regret dressing older then you actually are when you’re older.

    • Hannah says:

      I don’t see the anti-feminism, either. There is some judgment there but she’s 16 years old, for god’s sake. I was sooo much more judgmental at that age.

    • Shannon1972 says:

      I’m not seeing it either. Feminism is being warped into this all or nothing ideology, and if you disagree with how someone else defines “feminism” then you must be an anti-feminist. It’s just not so. The people calling her out should really take a class and learn about it, rather than massaging the word to fit their purpose.
      What I don’t understand is: why would anyone use feminism as a barometer for a 16 yr old anyway? They are still a work in progress, and as such, shouldn’t carry the burden of having labels attached to them.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Oh, good grief. I won’t give people like Shailene a break, but Bindi is 15 and her comments didn’t directly touch feminism. When you’re 15, you’re still figuring out how you want to present yourself to the world, and I’m willing to give kids a few years to catch up to the idea that one choice can be right for you and another can be right for someone else. If she’s still talking like this past 21, I’ll think about rolling my eyes.

  7. Jaded says:

    Wise words from someone that young. Compare them to, say…Miley Cyrus’s deep thoughts on feminism or any other mindless revelations from the young and vapid female entertainers these days.

  8. OTHER RENEE says:

    This girl is wise beyond her years. She keeps a level head and isn’t going down the road of flashing her boobs and bits and general skankdom. With a world full of Jenner/Kardashian worshipers and teenage bimbos, Bindi is a refreshing breath of fresh air.

  9. Alexandra says:

    I briefly thought it WAS Taylor Swift on the front photo. I could totally see them being besties for a couple weeks.

  10. D says:

    I really don’t understand how saying “dress your age” could be considered controversial. When you’re a teenager you shouldn’t dress like you’re 25+.

  11. mkyarwood says:

    She’s right, anyway. Who hasn’t looked back at some of the 15 year old fashion choices we’ve made and cringed? The best shots of me are in full overalls and a Billy Corgan 70′s ‘dress’ shirt. It’s the crop tops and mini dresses with platforms or knee high Converse that have me thinking ‘Why was I trying to look like Liz Phair when I DO NOT look like Liz Phair?’ Rather than say I was dressing my age in one vs. the other, I’ll agree with the notion that I was dressing as myself sometimes and trying too hard other times to fit what basically amounted to the Delia’s catalogue.

  12. Patricia says:

    Bindi, come to my house for tea, we can agree about everything you said together.

    It’s not just teenagers though. Now you get twenty somethings who are not dressing their age in a reverse sense. Like this 25 year old woman I saw at the dr office yesterday who was wearing white shorts that were basically cut like underwear. She looked so foolish and I’m thinking her mom must have let her dress like this as a teenager and she doesn’t know how to break herself of showing her entire leg and 25% of her butt cheek at all times.

    Like you said, I’m judging more than this by the time I roll out of bed in the morning lol.

    • FLORC says:

      I watched a girl escorted out of a Banana Republic for wearing those shorts. White with25% exposed cheek. She just wasn’t dresses. I have underwear with more coverage than those shorts.

      • lisa says:

        today i saw a girl in shorts so wrong for her, her vulva ate whatever it could get in its mouth and she was sweating all over the rest of the flimsy fabric. (it was 90 here today). i thought, dear god sweetie, that cant feel good and you cant possibly think it looks good, so what was the point?

  13. Secret says:

    Give her 5 years and if she doesn’t go back on her word, then I’ll pat her on the back. I remember many starlets (e.g. good old Britney Spears) preaching abstinence till marriage and all that and look at them now.

    • Steph says:

      She didn’t say anything about holding on to her V-card. Just because a young woman dresses her age and isn’t into the super revealing outfits doesn’t mean they are sexually conservative.

    • littlestar says:

      But if she does choose to dress like that in the future, it will be because she is older/more mature and is choosing that her herself. Most young teen girls are dressing scantily not for themselves, but to get attention from other people.

      • Mel M says:

        Exactly, most people will agree that those young girls are dressing like that to get attention not because they are “expressing” themselves with their fashion. That’s why I don’t understand why some are so quick to say “slut shamming” when you say it’s in appropriate for young girls to dress half naked. When they get dressed they are dressing in what they think other people or boys want to see.

  14. paola says:

    Aww i wish i could hold an echidna like that too!!
    It’s the cutest animal ever!
    I saw Bindi in action at the Taroonga zoo in Sydney and she and mother are just smitten with animals and they’re lovely.

  15. Gabrielle says:

    I say dress as slutty as you want went you’re a teen or college student. You won’t be able to do it in the office after that and you won’t have that body forever. You only live once.

  16. Esthetix says:

    Eh, she kinda comes across as a little naive and preachy. I mean, it’s not like her advice is coming from a place of experience…she’s 15 herself! Not judging though because I was exactly like that when I was her age. I feel like in 10 years time she’s going to look back at what she said and cringe a little.

    That said, I think she’s great. She’s known for her work with animals and not for how she looks or dress. That’s why it kills me that this interview is about makeup and clothes and not about animals.

  17. Word Girl says:

    Sometimes one has to be slightly judgmental to not go along with the crowd, if you know what I mean? I respect her more for knowing the difference in what’s for her while around people her age than just following the trend because someone else is doing it. A lot of kids go through that phase, so I’m not knocking it. I’m just glad that she doesn’t rely on the whole ‘groupthink’ approach when it comes to knowing who she is and where she is inn her life right now.

  18. Feebee says:

    She may look back at these comments in 10 years and cringe.

    I understand what she’s saying but that’s part of growing up. Teens ignoring advice, making cringe worthy decisions. Some learn from them, some don’t. Some can do it in the privacy of regular anonymity, others in the public eye. Some of it’s simply experimenting with what works and what doesn’t, no?

    It’s certainly not the worst advice she could be doling out. She appears to have a old head on young shoulders (maybe not appears, she readily admits it) and she’s positive, confident. I saw some of the observations that she’s been called spoilt, a bit of a diva. I don’t know if that’s fair or not but I do know that the fact she’s a girl has probably spawned some of that.

    My pet peeve is the ongoing “young girl” thing. If she’s talking about teenagers/her age group then they are not young girls. They are girls. A young girl is 7. In a few years she will be a young woman. I realise it may sound pedantic but I think it goes to the whole language around females that males don’t have to deal with and be categorized by.

    • lana86 says:

      i’d say the level of attention-whoring is much higher in females than males, from what I see, and it starts earlier. When I see 12year olds posting selfies in “sexy” positions on fb or walking in intentionally “sexy” and inviting outfits it does make me sad.

  19. mystified says:

    Their is something sort of off putting about someone calling oneself an “old soul”, sort of like calling oneself wise or smart. That said I think her comments actually do sound wise.

  20. wow says:

    Such a lovely young lady! It’s a pleasure watching her grow up and continue to keep her smarts about her.

  21. briargal says:

    Bravo Bindi! There is such a thing as dressing classy and then there is trashy! To look alluring and yes, sometimes sexy, it is better to leave something to the imagination. Unlike the Katrashians, Miley, Gaga and others just showing everything. Bindi is a classy young lady and I applaud her!

  22. Sandra says:

    Wow. What she said about dressing yourself is far better than how I ever could have said it. I’m going to cut and paste that and keep it for my daughter! Thanks Bindi :)

  23. Nothing of note to say about her stance, but gosh, did she grow up pretty. Lovely, lovely girl.

  24. Aysla says:

    I wish my 14 year old sister would heed Bindi’s advice. I feel like kids only really listen to their peers. I’m by no means conservative, but it’s embarrassing to be with my little sister in public because she wears a tiny little top with shorts that literally have her ass hanging out. She dresses like this to school, the grocery store, errands with my nearly 70 year old dad, dinners with friends of the family… yikes. My parents cringe but are not as strict as they were when I was younger since they’re getting up there in years and don’t really have the energy for it (she was a late-in-life oopsie baby).

  25. mar says:

    My problem with her is she promotes Seaworld. Her father is probably turning over in his grave. Orcas and Dolphins die in the process of being captured and die in captivity quickly. They are more intelligent then we are, shame on her.

    • DameEdna says:

      Steve Irwin made a lucrative career out of tormenting animals for the camera. Poke this, prod that….see what sort of reaction you can get from a sentient creature that just wants to be left the hell alone.

      That said, he probably would have looked askance at a partnership between his wife and daughter and Seaworld. Bob Irwin, Steve’s father, certainly had harsh words to say when this partnership was announced. Perhaps, instead of being driven by her mother’s commercial imperatives, Bindi should take counsel from Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd….one of their ships is named for her father. Animals for entertainment is not conservation.

  26. Mhmm says:

    ” But let’s be real, I judge more by the time I roll out of bed every morning.” Hahahaha :D same…I go to this website before getting out of bed and it helps fire me up seeing what these Hollywierdos are doing :p

    Bindi is so cute byw! She seems to be growing up well.

  27. Mikeyangel says:

    Love her. What a beautiful young girl. With so many Jenner-esque girls out there it is nice to see a different opinion.

    I agree with her 100%. I consider myself a feminist. I want my girls (3 and 1) to dress modestly. I dress them modestly now. I do this and want this for their future because they are more than their physical appearance. They are beautiful girls (who will likely grow into beautiful adults) but that is what God gave them, they did nothing to get that. I want them to see their worth in how smart and kind they are and I plan to instill those values. Plus there are a lot of creeps out there and hopefully dressing more modest and ‘their age’ will elicit less of the creepsters to look at them. Just my opinion. Feminism doesn’t come in one form. And btw I don’t mean like Mormon modest (not that there is anything wrong with that, or ‘you wore a short skirt so you were asking to be raped’ type attitude. I just get so disgusted when I see any girl or woman wearing JUICY across their butt!

  28. Longhorn says:

    I don’t any woman who doesn’t look back at their teenage years and cringe at their teenage outfits no matter if they were outlandish or conservative. I’m sure Bindi will cringe at her outfits too when she gets older:)

  29. Apsutter says:

    Awwww…she looks like a teenage Michelle Williams in that top pic!

  30. Tang says:

    What I don’t like about current styles of clothing worn is not that they are immodest, but they seem to reflect narcissism of the person who is wearing them. A “look at me!” attitude.

  31. Sherlockapple says:

    She’s beautiful. She has a gorgeous smiled. I look forward to her work!

  32. Josefa says:

    She’s very polite in the way she expresses her beleifs and sounds down to earth and relatable. Much, MUCH better than the average 16 year old girl. In fact, I found this interview much more likable than some given by adult women nearly twice her age.

    The Irwins did a good job with this one. Kudos.

  33. M79 says:

    You feel bad for someone because of how they dress? Yes, because it’s totally normal for a girl her age to wear khaki’s all the time. Different strokes for different folks. How about we let girls dress the way they want and express themselves without other girls trying to knock them down or look down on them for their stylistic choices. Women can be their own worse enemy. Good for Bindi if she wants to dress as she does, I’m all in favor of letting other girls find their own voices and selves without having a teen TV star who has never had a normal life telling them what’s normal for them.

  34. Other Kitty says:

    I always loved Steve Irwin and I’ve always liked Bindi. Her mom has done a great job. She sounds like a sweet, normal 15-year-old. She looks cute as a button, too. I’ll always be interested in what Bindi is doing.