Meet Baddie Winkle

Meet Baddie Winkle


Meet Baddie Winkle, 87-year-old Instagram star | Baddie Winkle ACT TWOHelen Van Winkle may be the hippest 87-year-old grandma on Instagram.  Van Winkle, who goes by “Baddie Winkle” on social media, claims she’s been “stealing your man since 1928,” according to her account.

Baddie Winkle has 1.5 million Instagram followers, including an eyebrow-raising number of top celebrities.  We’re talking Miley Cyrus, Nicole Ritchie, Drake, Rihanna and more.

After losing her husband on her 35th wedding anniversary, she started experimenting with fashion as a way to keep away the sorrow.  She recently told Refinery 29, an online fashion site, “You don’t know what’s going to happen to you.  I blamed God forever.  I cried all the time because I couldn’t come to terms with it, so I made myself over into Baddie Winkle.”

Meet Baddie Winkle, 87-year-old Instagram star | Baddie Winkle ACT TWO

For Baddie Winkle, the idea that you should dress for your age is nonsense.   “I don’t feel old.  I have never felt old.  I think you can dress any way you want to.” Winkle lives in Knoxville, TN, with her granddaughter and her 19-year-old great-granddaughter, Kennedy, who was the one responsible for Winkle’s Tumblr-teen style sense. “Kennedy is responsible for all of this. Kennedy and I have a lot of fun together. We’re very close.”

Referring to her alter-ego, the 87-year-old says, “Baddie Winkle has helped me a lot—in spirit, anyway. The lessons that I have learned is live and let live. I would love to be a role model for older people. You’re only here once in your lifetime, so have fun.”

Indeed, one of her favorite slogans, which she frequently shares in one guise or another, be it on a T-shirt, or stamped across her forehead, is ‘Stealing your man since 1928’. 

Baddie told Daily Mail Online that her goals in 2015 were “to continue to decide to be happy, eat more chocolate, try more new things and do a cool reality series on how to be a Baddie.”

Meet Baddie Winkle, 87-year-old Instagram star | Baddie Winkle ACT TWO“I have something to look forward to each day and it helps to inspire others young and old. I get to make others laugh and not take life so seriously.”  

She’s enjoying her new fame, but it hasn’t changed who she is.  “I am absolutely amazed about the amount of publicity I have received from my postings.  It’s a great feeling knowing I’m impacting others lives but in reality the love and sweet words make my life much better. It really helps me more than I am helping others.”

To which we can only say, Get on with your bad self, Baddie!


by Donna Giachetti

Donna Giachetti writes frequently for ACT TWO. Her blog posts are available here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *