Larry Birkhead Tells PEOPLE 5 Things No One Knows About Daughter Dannielynn Birkhead (Exclusive)

Dannielynn Birkhead is growing up and she's starting to think about her future, proud dad Larry Birkhead tells PEOPLE

Larry Birkhead/Instagram
Larry Birkhead/Instagram

Larry Birkhead's little girl is growing up.

Over the weekend, the 50-year-old's daughter with the late Anna Nicole Smith — 16-year-old Dannielynn Birkhead attended the 2023 Kentucky Derby with her dad.

Birkhead also accompanied her to the 34th annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala on Friday evening, which benefits the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at the University of Kentucky. Dannielynn wore a black tulle skirt and blouse featuring her mom's photographs from her famous Guess campaign, accessorized with rhinestone shoes.

Birkhead tells PEOPLE that Dannielynn, currently a high school junior, is coming into her own and exploring her mom's legacy as she prepares for the next chapter of her life. The proud dad shares some new details about the teen, who has led a quiet life in small towns growing up.

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Larry Birkhead/Instagram
Larry Birkhead/Instagram

Related:Dannielynn Birkhead Honors Late Mom Anna Nicole Smith at Barnstable Brown Gala

Dannielynn is starting to look at colleges.

Birkhead admits he's hesitant as his little girl starts to consider heading off to colleges around the country.

"It's one of those things where she's just now dipping her toe into getting stuff, and people are mailing her things. And every time I get something in the mail for college, I don't know if I really want to give her this because she might take them up on this offer and go somewhere to college," he tells to PEOPLE.

"It's one of those things that all parents go through. They don't want their kids to go off, but they know they have to."

She's interested in studying forensics.

While the 16-year-old doesn't have a dream school in mind just yet, "she's starting to show an interest in forensics."

"She takes a forensic class in high school, and she enjoys it, so she's starting to talk about that, which is great because I like to watch Dateline," the proud dad jokes. "So we're on the same page with that."

Birkhead said the course is teaching her about "crime scenes and blood splatter, and the real gory stuff and the real high-tech stuff."

"They tell them how to solve murders, give them clues, and they say, 'This happened, this happened.' It's an interesting thing. I actually took it when I was in college, so I was able to talk with her on it with a little bit of knowledge, but it's something that she's shown interest in, too."

Birkhead isn't getting too set on the idea, however, noting "you know how kids do. They can say this today, but tomorrow, she's into something else."

Dannielynn has Anna Nicole's wardrobe cataloged in storage, though she says many of the designs are "not my style."

While the teen has worn "some T-shirts and some things like that, different things that she fits in," that belong to her late model mom, Birkhead says, "there are also some things she says, "Dad, thanks, but no thanks. That's not my style.'"

"Everything that she has of her mom's is all cataloged in storage with pictures of every event that she wore it to. So if she appreciates it one day, she can. If she wants to give it to her kids, she can," he says. "If she doesn't like it, she can sell it, whatever she wants to do. But it's there, and it's for her whenever she wants."

He admits there are a lot of designs the 16-year-old "would have to wait until later" to even consider.

"They're a little bit more revealing and lower cut and things like that. So she's dug through some things, but to be honest, we haven't even started to dig through all of Anna's storage. So she's seen a few things that her mom's had in storage, but she doesn't really know all the stuff," he explains.

"And unfortunately, her mom was a hoarder of sorts, so she has stuff, and she was a variety of sizes, so she's got every size covered that you can imagine. So I said, 'What you're going to weigh, how tall you're going to be, whatever, but you pretty much got it covered.'"

Dannielynn shares her mom's big heart and picky palate.

Birkhead notices similarities between his daughter and Smith all the time, noting that the teen is "generous like her mom."

"And at the same time, she's a picky eater like her mom. Oh, my gosh!" he laughs. "She eats no meat at all. One time in her life, she's eaten meat. She does not eat meat at all, but she's not a gigantic vegetable fan, either."

"It's been a struggle ever since she was little. She's a big pasta eater, loves pizza, and things, and we add vitamins and different things to get her well-rounded. She gets a lot of sauce on her pizza. Her mom was a sauce, a condiment freak. She would just extra, extra, extra, extra everything and load it down. And that's how Dannielynn is."

Michael Loccisano/Getty
Michael Loccisano/Getty

She's on social media... sort of.

Birkhead says he has strict social media rules for the teen to keep her safe, noting, "You have to watch out because you don't know what's going on in that, so you have to keep an eye on it."

"She doesn't have her own account because I don't let her have her own thing. She looks at TikTok under a fake account," he shares with PEOPLE. "She doesn't have her name out there and her picture. She's not allowed to do that."

"But, she's on there looking at stuff, and she's a big YouTube video person, and she's into all that stuff. She likes virtual reality games where they go in and they can go into a world. She creates different characters. I walked in the other day, and she's like some walking cat."

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