When most folks are pushing 90-years-old they’re probably in a retirement home watching Wheel of Fortune or maybe reminiscing on the old days. But such is not the case for BaddieWinkle, the hip retiree turned Instagram influencer.
Baddie, real name, Helen Van Winkle, has amassed over 3.1 million adoring fans on her Instagram where she can be seen sporting loud, hip, and eye-catching outfits. Age hasn’t dulled Baddie a bit. She loves Drake, trim bodysuits, chunky platforms, and counts Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Nichole Richie as personal fans. Winkle has also launched a major fashion campaign with Missguided and released her first book, Baddiewinkle’s Guide to Life in 2017.
The pensioner, who lives in Kentucky, says she’s “always been a rebel and a rule-breaker”, and that she’s “broken plenty of hearts too.”
But beneath the baddie persona, eccentric style, and killer outfits, lies a deeper meaning to Winkle.
In an interview with Refinery29, Winkle revealed that the lifestyle change was a way to help her cope with the passing of her husband, who tragically died on their 35th anniversary, as well as the sudden death of her son to cancer. Things haven’t exactly been rainbows for Winkle, but she says that reinventing herself has certainly helped her not only grieve but bring some joy into this world.
“Baddie Winkle has helped me a lot — in spirit, anyway. The lessons that I have learned is live and let live,” she says. “I would love to be a role model for older people. You’re only here once in your lifetime, so have fun.”
Whether you’re 21 or 91, Winkle is proof that you’re never too old to reinvent yourself and embrace your inner teenager.