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Bindi Irwin: 'Khaki Is Part of Who I Am, But It's Fun to Get Dressed Up'

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Don Arnold/WireImage

Bindi Irwin has traded in her khakis! The 17-year-old star got a glam makeover on the cover of Australia’s Telegraph Sunday Style magazine, but made sure to stay age appropriate (read about her stance on crop tops here).

However, Irwin is having fun experimenting with her look.

"I want to try different styles," she told the magazine, wearing a black dress featuring a tulle skirt and pork pie hat on the cover with her hair blown out straight. "Khaki is a part of who I am, but it’s fun to get dressed up every now and then. Being a bit of a girl is always exciting. You can't jump on a croc or climb a tree if you're not in khaki, but I do like different clothes and playing around with it a bit."

The wildlife activist revealed that she's always surprised by reactions to her appearance on social media, especially after she posted a selfie on Instagram recently wearing dark liner and a bold lip.

"I was amazed at how much it exploded -- I didn't expect that," she said. "I really didn't ever post selfies before, but it occurred to me, after talking to some friends, how much pressure is put on young people to look and act a certain way. We're all growing up and changing. I wanted to tell young girls -- and boys -- to stay true to who you are and not let anyone change you. You have to be able to accept yourself and know you’re gorgeous inside [and] out. It's hard sometimes."

She added that while the post generated mostly positive responses, it's still hard to ignore the negative commenters.

"It's human nature that if you get 20 positive comments and one negative one, you're going to focus on the negative,” she explained. "We all do that. It can be something that drags you down. It’s easy to get bogged down with it, but I try to concentrate on the good things."

Khaki will always be a part of my heart, but today's issue of @sundaystyle was a privilege to be a part of.

A photo posted by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Irwin also opened up for the first time about her boyfriend, American professional wakeboarder Chandler Powell, 18, in the candid interview.

"I was blessed to meet Chandler and his family back in November 2013," she shared. "We remained in touch and stayed friends. Since then, our friendship has developed into something really special."

And thanks to Snapchat and Skype, the couple makes their long distance relationship work.

"We're connected, which is so great," she said of Powell, who is also part of Irwin's Wildlife Warriors team initiative. "He is passionate about wildlife and an extraordinary wakeboarder. We are excited to be achieving more conservation work together. I feel lucky to have him in my life."

As she navigates her teenage years, Irwin said it's hard not having her dad, Steve Irwin, who died tragically in 2006, at her side.

"You have good days and bad days," she says. "With the huge milestones in life, I think, 'I wish he was here for this,' but when you lose someone so close to you they never really leave. I’m very lucky and very happy. I look back over the past 17 years and think I’ve been privileged to have done so much. But my life journey is only just starting."

What do you think of the star's glam shoot? Sound off below.

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--Brittany Talarico