It's no secret how Bindi Irwin first entered the public eye. The eldest child and only daughter of the beloved late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, has been appearing alongside her famous father in his documentaries since she was only two years of age.
In fact, Bindi has been so present in media over the years, people began to question if they were looking at a girl or a brand. Was it just a tad too tough to swallow the fact a khaki-clad, snake-loving teen (who also happened to have a couple of TV shows under her belt) might be legit? Was this Team Bindi or The Bindi Show? Was it all an act?
However, no matter what your thoughts on these formative years, you'd find yourself hard-pressed to argue she has come out the other side grinning, emerging as a capable young woman both on screen and off.
Most recently, she has been making headlines as she competes in the US version of "Dancing With The Stars" -- even nailing that infamous lift from 80's hit movie "Dirty Dancing" and scoring a perfect ten.
Watch her and dance partner Derek Hough pull off the impressive feat below.
The departure from khaki and the move toward things most other 17-year-olds would be interested in ("Dirty Dancing" -- case in point) is something we are seeing more and more from Irwin as she works to establish her identity away from crocs and snakes.
She has also recently gone public with her first boyfriend (that we know of), American professional wakeboarder Chandler Powell. (A difficult enough feat for any teen, let alone one constantly in the public eye.)
Media outlets often describe Irwin as being chirpy and polite in interviews with no trace of diva behaviour or teenage surliness (having interviewed Bindi before, this reporter can confirm this to be true) and, unlike so many other teenagers her age, she is continually vocal about her love and admiration for her family.
On top of all of this, The Australian Geographic Society named Irwin 2014’s Young Conservationist of the Year, she’s an Earth Hour ambassador and -- despite several television commitments -- continues to champion environmental work in a number of areas.
So whatever your thoughts on Ms Bindi Irwin -- you have to admit she's no slouch. Currently, she's the favourite to take home first place in "Dancing With The Stars" -- which may seem trivial enough for some, but perhaps not to a 17-year-old girl.
When Steve Irwin passed away in 2006, Bindi Irwin was only eight years old. The decisions made at that time in regard to her future (and her "career" -- if an eight-year-old can have one) cannot be attributed to her.
However, this is a time where we are seeing Bindi make her own choices, carve her own path, and also have some well-deserved fun while doing it.
Good on you Bindi. We're sure your Dad would be proud.