Born In: Hazard, Kentucky, United States
If you follow social media trends, then you must have come across this fine old lady with white locks and dressed in the coolest and most colorful of clothes. Meet Helen Ruth Van Winkle aka Baddiewinkle, the coolest grandmother on the block. She is famous for kicking up a storm with her bright and out-there fashion sense. Baddiewinkle is a living example of the famous saying that age is just a number! For her, being young at heart and keeping those crazy genes alive trumps being burdened by life’s negativities. Her 3.2 million Instagram followers will definitely agree that Baddie’s eclectic and eccentric fashion choices are a sheer joy to watch. Decked up in neons and fluoros, over-the-top danglers, and graphic tees with messages as bold as herself, Baddiewinkle makes heads turn!
Nick Name: Baddiewinkle
Also Known As: Helen Ruth Van Winkle
Spouse/Ex-: Earl George Van Winkle (1947–83)
children: David Van Winkle
Born Country: United States
U.S. State: Kentucky
Helen Ruth Van Winkle has always been a strong believer in fashion and preferred to wear a different outfit every Sunday to church. In April 2014, when she was visiting her granddaughter Dawn and great-granddaughter Kennedy in Knoxville, her foray into the world of Instagram fame began. Her first photo, wearing a pair of cut-off jeans, a Grateful Dead tie-dye t-shirt, and Huf socks went viral overnight and she became everyone’s favorite fashionista granny. Since then, she has uploaded several posts to her Instagram account all of which have created quite the stir. You definitely cannot write Baddie off as old and senile, especially when she does things like becoming the official date of Miley Cyrus to the VMAs! With followers like Rihanna, Khloe Kardashian, Nicole Richie, Gwen Stefanie, and Drake, she sure is the talk of the town. She has also been chosen to be the brand ambassador of the fashion line Dimpie. From appearances in movies, and award shows to making a cameo in Nicole Richie's VH1 show Candidly Nicole, Helen Ruth Van Winkle is the hottest brand right now. With regular pop culture referencing and oodles of quick-witted responses ready to dole out, there is no surprise that she has been hailed as "a reason to fall in love with social media all over again." She was also chosen as the face of Grit Creative Group’s website launch in 2015. Winkle graced the red carpet at the Netflix promotion for the comedy-drama series, ‘Orange Is the New Black.’
There isn’t a shred of doubt in anyone’s mind that Helen Ruth Van Winkle is someone special. Ask Miley! Her funk quotient alone is enough to make Baddie the ultimate granny who refuses to succumb to life pressures. And her attitude! Whew! Many of the young wannabes will kill for that hot attitude. We love how she has kept that inner child of hers nurtured through all these years and through life’s ups and down. Her Instagram bio (Stealing your man since 1928) alone will tell you that she has the famous Southern sassy as well. From beer-ponging with frat boys to wearing a multi-colored crochet bikini, Baddiewinkle takes up everything around her and gives them her own spin. Be it her bold statement tees, Drake sweatshirts and socks, tie-dye dresses, or the crazy colorful 1970s outfits, Helen Ruth Van Winkle makes everything look on point. But she draws the line at pasties. We would love to be as full of life as she is when we are her age!
Helen Ruth Van Winkle seems to be everyone’s sweetheart. Yet, as expected, she has her fair share of haters within the world of the internet. They have voiced their objections at her controversial choice of statements displayed on her t-shirts, or at some of her very age-defying antics. They have also criticized her smoking habit and the fact that she supports smoking marijuana. But Baddie says that she has been a long-time supporter of legalizing and promoting medical marijuana because there are people who really need it for serious reasons. She has also taken the various hate comments in her stride and said that she has always been the ultimate rebel. Towards all the other grandmas who are trying desperately to do what she has done, she has just a line to say “All these other grandmas are copycats. I like a real cat.” Don’t we agree?!
Helen Ruth Van Winkle was born during the Great Depression and has suffered great personal tragedies in life. She lost her son to cancer and her husband to a car accident. She worked at a factory ordering spare parts for 28 years in order to run her family. She has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Currently, she lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.
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