Cakes are the least of poor Bindi’s worries
Cake schmake. Just shut up and pass the eggs!
Dave Penberthy’s musings about Rosemary Stanton’s rant on the evil of packet cake mixture being pushed by Bindi Irwin and her family on televisions across Australia is off the mark.
The point that worries me doesn’t involve cakes, but Bindi’s “childhood”. Bindi Irwin and her brother spend much of their lives being home schooled, they mix and play with the children of employees of Australia Zoo, not children of diverse backgrounds through exposure to the usual forms of community education and socialisation.
Bindi celebrated one of her birthdays with the rock group, The Veronicas, on national television with an audience of strange children seated in an arena. Bindi counts these adult rock chicks as her friends. Does anyone else think this is strange?
Bindi Irwin is a “working” child - filming television programmes for the USA and Australia and the international market.
She works on a shooting schedule to meet the demand, her education is fitted around this backbreaking timetable.
She has makeup artists and hairdressers every day she is working – which is most days.
Fitted in around her home based tutors, she is rehearsed, coached, packaged and send out to us, the public as a ‘natural nature kid’.
Her answers during interviews are as spontaneous as her publicist and minders have trained her to be.
Bindi Irwin also works at Australia Zoo, she performs at shows there as well.
Not sure what Little Bob is doing so far, but he does his fair share of commercial and “Wildlife Warrior” gigs as well.
Bindi has been encouraged since the day her father was tragically killed, to be a Wild Life Warrior, to carry on his legacy, to keep the Australia Zoo running and send a message to an international public, that she is now the face of a going commercial concern.
What an enormous weight for a ten year old girl.
Where is her self exploration, the whims and flights of a child’s imagination that allow a kid to hanker to be a fireman one day and a world class gymnast the next?
Where are her immature, messy, exploring the REAL world, childhood days?
The question is met with silence.
Bindi has been as neatly preened and groomed, and had huge expectations foisted upon her since she was a tiny baby – her regimen of training has been as comprehensive and as plotted as the performing animals in her zoo.
Her cage is just less visible.
Children yearn to explore, they learn from their mistakes, they diversify their ideas about careers, values, hobbies, the arts, food - from being allowed to be kids, from real exposure to other children outside of a work environment or away from children whose parent’s very livelihoods are dependent on the happiness and fame of the little girl and family for whom they work.
In Australia, we see only the tip of the iceberg in terms of her work commitments and fame - she is an industry that props up huge commercial concerns - adult money-making, and environmental barrows that are being pushed all the way to the bank.
So perhaps the question shouldn’t be about cake, it should be about childhood and the public’s blind acceptance of the pre-packaged, homogenised, cosmetically- crimped Bindi Irwin, the performer without a choice - for if she waivered from the environment and the legacy she has to shoulder, the empire and the shrine to her father would be dishonoured.
That’s what this poor child is being taught - each and every day.
Even Miley Cyrus / Hannah Montanna, was raised and is being raised with friends outside her performing circle and with some buffers against the Disney phenomen – at least she doesn’t actually live on her ‘set’.
Bindi is a child more at home in front of the camera than the blackboard. What will happen to the kid when she decides she’s rather be an accountant or a yoga teacher? What will her Mum, the TV execs, the adoring public, the fawning grown up celebrities, the magazine editors, the retailers of her clothing line, DVDs, books, cake mixes and dolls, say and do to her when she goes ‘teenage’, her head spins and pea soup spews forth? Or is this the new Michael Jackson waiting in the wings?
As a mother of four, who has raised nine, I say to you all… Free Bindi. Free her from the weighty legacy we have hung around her neck, and free her from her commercially driven minders for whom the perception of success is only to be found in a bank balance and a pile of publicity clippings.
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