Aging isn’t pretty to a culture that associates perfection and beauty with youth instead of experience and, well, living life. Nothing could highlight the flaws with this reasoning more than the Instagram account of 87-year-old grandma Baddie Winkle who just won Instagrammer of The Year.
In a world of food photography, perfectly fluffed decor, tanned and toned bikini shots photographed, photoshopped and reuploaded, Baddie broke through the noise with honesty and it is beautiful. An anti-ageist, anti-establishment, anti-body shaming, Baddie has an Instagram account that will inspire you.
Born Helen Ruth Van Winkle, the Tennessee grandma lost her husband and son and found herself in a dark depression. “I cried all the time, because I couldn’t come to terms with it,” she told Refinery29. “You don’t know what’s going to happen to you,” Winkle said.
But one afternoon while hanging out with her 19-year-old granddaughter Kennedy she donned a pair of cutoffs and a tie-dyed shirt and snapped this photo:
She decided right then and there that she would make herself over into a fictional version of herself: Baddie Winkle. Her account grew with fans and followers, but it wasn’t until body-positive rockstar Miley Cyrus shared her photos that Baddie became a star. She now rocks 1.8 million follows, scored a clothing deal, appeared on Nicole Richie’s show and went to the MTV Video Movie Awards with pal Miley.
She doesn’t shy away from saying naughty words, promoting weed and generally being swag. But it’s her promotion of women empowerment and flip of the convention of what is hot and awesome, that makes her rock. She owns her persona and thanks to some product placements she’s making some bling with it.
Good luck, Baddie, and here’s to rocking on forever.
Featured images via Instagram.