"I get pushback every day. I get some hate, but I just pray for them for being so basic," Baddie Winkle aka Helen Van Winkle said.
Instagram sensation Baddie Winkle aka Helen Van Winkle led a pretty normal life in Waco, Kentucky, before her shot to fame. "I had a little 6-acre farm. I took care of it by myself for 15 years," she told NPR. "I did everything that you're supposed to do: mowed, trimmed, had a little garden. I kept busy at all times." It all changed one day when her great-granddaughter Kennedy saw her in a pair of cut-off shorts and a tie-dye shirt and decided that the world needed to appreciate her great-grandmother's incredible style. "Let's make a picture, Grandma, you look awful cute today," Winkle recalled the teen telling her.
"So I said, 'OK!'" she added. "But from there, you know, it went viral and I was so surprised. I think they saw a great-grandmother that didn't care what anybody thought about her. 'Here's a rebel. We like her.'" Today, the 92-year-old has over 3.5 million followers on Instagram. Explaining how she came up with her account name, Baddiewinkle revealed it was pretty easy. "I'm a bad bi**h; always been a rebel. So we decided 'bad' — 'baddie.' And then my last name was van Winkle, so we put the Winkle on," she said.
Speaking to Considerable about her unapologetic and fun style — which she describes as "glamorous streetwear" — Winkle said, "Do you need money to dress fashionably or stylishly? I'd be lying if I said money did not help, but it does not have to define you or your style." Winkle revealed that some of her favorite pieces were found in second-hand stores. "One man's trash is another fabulous woman's rainbow of treasures," she said. "People of my age are afraid that will upset their family or friends. Just dress to suit you, and not others."
"My suggestion for women is to find something that they feel comfortable in and then add color and maybe some bling," Winkle continued. "Color never hurt anyone before. Start with color and the rest will fall into place. Don't look for validation from others, especially your family. Keep an open mind and go for what makes you happy! I get pushback every day. I get some hate, but I just pray for them for being so basic. The key is to find fashion that looks good on you. If it looks good on your body type — rock it. Who cares what anyone else thinks? My advice for the future is to keep moving, enjoy life, and absolutely don't worry about the little things, those little things will take care of themselves. Always provide a smile to others and they will smile back."
When asked about her key to a happy life, Winkle said: "The key to a happy life — now this is my version: You're always smiling at people even though you just meet them on the street (most of the time [you'll] get a smile back), and go to church (I'm a very Southern lady), and always be kind to every human that you meet... I have met a lot of people and I think that they would say that about me."