Miranda Kerr: Wilful child or independent woman? Photo: Getty Images
When it comes to family feuds and fall-outs, Australia has seen some of the best and most heartbreaking – the Rineharts, the Murdochs and that great variety show hosted by Rob Brough in the early ’90s.
This week there were two more Australian family units in the spotlight, albeit for very different reasons. First was the jubilant Corby clan following Schapelle’s release on parole and second was the family of our prettiest export, Miranda Kerr. Say what you like about Mercedes and co, while intonation and eyebrow grooming may not be their strong point, unity certainly is – unlike the Kerrs.
On Tuesday night, while the commercial networks stayed with the circus in Seminyak, the national broadcaster helped John and Therese Kerr reach out to their supermodel daughter who they haven’t seen for more than 12 months. For the record and in case you missed it, she’s not missing, or in trouble, by the sound of the 27-minute Family Confidential documentary, she just hasn’t been great at returning their calls or invitations to join them for a roast dinner.
The entire episode was a how-to guide for those wanting to continue a family feud. It was made without Miranda’s authorisation and featured scenes of her sweet grandmother with scones. Her father, John, said, “I wish she wasn’t a model. I wish she was just a normal, everyday girl.”
“Miranda’s life is so different now. She’s surrounded by ‘yes’ people all the time,” Therese added.
“It’s so important for me to be real, to be true. To be who she needs me to be. We have been best friends for most of our life. We used to talk just about every day. What I have to do is let go and allow her to be assertive and lead her own life. And I guess for any mum that’s a little bit challenging sometimes to do that.”
Now I get this. I, like Miranda, come from an incredibly close-knit country family and my mum and her mum before that possessed certain Therese-Kerr-like qualities when it came to cutting the apron strings. However, that’s where the similarities – physical, mainly – end.
The Kerrs built Miranda – a flawless, charming freak of nature made for high-fashion, runways and magazine covers. Covers which she was gracing at the tender age of 13 after she won Dolly magazine’s annual model search in 1997. They even uprooted their country roots and transplanted the family to the city to further the opportunities for the child star. The rest is history; she blossomed after being spurred on by their support. Now they’re upset that she hasn’t visited in a year? Last time I checked, JFK had both an arrivals and a departures hall.
True, Miranda owes a lot of her success to the people who raised her on a diet of noni juice, goji berries and fresh air, especially when it comes to her triumphs in the health and wellbeing arena.
“I grew up in a little country town with my grandparents on a farm. That’s where I learned about eating organic, and the benefits you get firsthand … I’ve been drinking [noni juice] since I was 12. I’d put it on my skin if I had a sunburn or a breakout. My grandmother introduced me to it,” she told US Vogue last year when promoting her latest skin care venture.
However, the underlying issue which seems to plague the Kerrs is that fact that Miranda, after turning 30, began to assert herself both professionally and privately. After moving on from David Jones and Victoria’s Secret, she took back the reins of her skincare company from her mother and separated from her husband.
Typical Millennial? Perhaps, but judging from her new-found confidence to call the shots it sounds as though Miranda has stopped reading her mum’s airy-fairy “let your light shine” text messages and has picked up Sheryl Sandburg’s Lean In instead. But for the sake of baby Flynn, the former ”Angel” and the rest of the Kerr family, let’s just hope she remembers to look homeward every once in a while.
P.S. I’ll call you tonight, Mum. I promise.