Helen Van Winkle is an amazing 87-year-old woman from Knoxville, Tennessee. She is your normal, everyday senior citizen. Sometimes. Other times, Helen is “Baddie Winkle.” Baddie is an 87-year-old lady from Knoxville with a “Tumblr-teen” fashion sense. Baddie likes to wear large sweatshirts with Justin Beiber’s face on it, along with leggings, gold chains, and anything else you could possibly imagine a teenage girl would wear these days.
Helen Van Winkle was born during the Depression to a poor family. She says she never really had it easy throughout her life. Helen had to go through the death of her son, and then the death of her husband, who died on their 35th wedding anniversary.
She had discovered her new found adventurous style from her 19-year-old great granddaughter, Kennedy, who is also responsible for landing her over 1 million followers on Instagram. Helen decided to start dressing more adventurously after the loss of her husband and son. With having a hard time coming to terms with the losses, Helen decided to make a change, and thus began her adventures as Baddie.
It originally started when she borrowed some short shorts, and a tie-dye shirt from her great granddaughter, Kennedy. The 19-year-old thought her elder looked so adorable, she started to help her pick out new styles. Next up, she started an Instagram profile to show the world her great grandmother’s style, thus turning “Baddie Winkle” into an internet sensation.
Helen has even caught the attention of celebs like Nicole Richie and Miley Cyrus. Since her rise to fame, they have been receiving a lot of new clothes in the mail for her to wear. Helen’s great granddaughter is her stylist and helps her put together fun outfits to wear. They have a lot of fun doing the whole Baddie Winkle bit, forming a close bond in the process.
Baddie says she never really liked “old woman clothes” and would never wear them. She says she will also never wear anything too revealing. Pasties and booty shorts are a couple of things that Baddie will never wear. She believes that there is such a thing as dressing for your age. However, she believes that anybody should be able to wear what ever they want to.
Ever since the uprising of Baddie Winkle, Helen Van Winkle has been able to get over the loss of her husband and son. She has been able to reconnect with her family in a new and playful way. It has also helped her reclaim her sense of self, teaching her to “live and let live”. She hopes to be a role model for other seniors, and help them get more out of the rest of their lives too.
While she gets a lot of positive reactions from outsiders, Baddie also has to deal with those who get a little uncomfortable about an elderly woman wearing provocative clothing. Some people fear that Baddie may not be in on some of the jokes that are being made online. That said, lots of people say Baddie is a strong and assertive woman. Helen says that anything Kennedy puts on the internet is all okay with her.
Something as simple as wearing clothes that are adventurous for your age group sends out a pretty strong set of messages just in itself. You should do whatever it is that makes you feel good, inside and out. If this means wearing short shorts, a “YOLO” t-shirt, and a flat bill hat at the age of 87, then by all means do it. You only have one life to live on this Earth. You need to embrace it however you can. Be yourself. Be the next Baddie Winkle!
Featured photo credit: https://instagram.com/baddiewinkle/?hl=en via i.huffpost.com