Terri Irwin presented her daughter with her own hand-held walkie talkie, making her an official Australia Zoo staff member.
“Bindi always enjoys something new and different at the zoo, so this year I got her her own radio,” Mrs Irwin said.
“She is officially a zoo keeper at Australia Zoo, so in the morning before school she can radio to the cat feeders and find out where the tigers are walking, so she doesn’t bump into them accidentally.”
Notables at Bindi’s birthday bash included an enormous crocodile, which is to be expected in a crocodile zoo, and Australian pop stars The Veronicas, Bindi calling them her ‘best friends’. Her mother Terri and brother Bob were there, and frequent mention was made of her father Steve. This all pales into nothingness next to the news that Bindi wasn’t wearing khaki!! She wore a cute pink top.
It’s been a busy year for the late Crocodile Hunter’s daughter, sparking criticism that her mother isn’t allowing her to grow up with a normal childhood.
One (US TV critic) suggested she “seemed to be affecting childhood rather than experiencing it”.
Few would doubt that Bindi is good TV.
She is a positive little poppet with swinging golden ponytails and her father’s broad and winsome smile.
But while she may win hearts and millions of viewers in the US and doubtless in Australia, Bindi’s stardom is potentially destructive.
As much as Bindi may seem to be a sophisticated performer with enviable aplomb in front of the TV cameras, or holding a conversation with the Dalai Lama, she does not appear to be a child at all.
This is cause for concern.
Bindi is a star with the expectation of being a huge celebrity in the US.
Therein rests the danger.
Smiling, joking, archetypal all-Aussie poster girl Bindi is the personification of bouncy, buoyant optimism.
But while she may be seen as some kind of cutesy Australian legend, following in her father’s footsteps, is this healthy?
She might not have a normal childhood, but the one she has seems pretty cool. Living at a zoo, on the sunny Australian coast. Her previous birthday party had The Wiggles perform. She’s got her own TV show, a walkie talkie – Terri Irwin isn’t a bad mother. I’d rather my kids were busy and distracted instead of sitting at home being depressed and missing dad. If she was keeping them at home and out of the public eye, she’d probably be criticised for not allowing Bindi to take advantage of opportunities on offer to her.
Thanks to News.com.au for these pictures.