Baddie Winkle is the 87-year-old rising star of Instagram

After capturing the hearts of Instagrammers for almost two years, 87-year-old “Baddie Winkle” is starting to cross over into the mainstream. 

That’s why she made it to number 17 on our own Social 50 list, a definitive ranking of the best people to follow online right now.

Born Helen Von Winkle in 1928, Baddie Winkle is a grandmother from Tennessee. She’s become Instagram-famous for her psychedelic, teen-influenced personal style and her seemingly carefree attitude.

She got her big break when she attended the Video Music Awards in Los Angeles earlier in September. Refinery29 also visited her at home for a touching video and profile published recently.

So what’s the story behind this fun-loving granny? Read on to find out.

Baddie Winkle posted her first Instagram photo on April 10, 2014, with the caption 'Peace and Love.'

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Her style is influenced by hip hop and her outlook is influenced by her devotion to the church, as evidenced by this selfie. Wearing a 'BEEN TRILL' shirt, she captioned the photo, 'Praise The Lord.'

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Her life looks like a live-action Tumblr feed.

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... Especially now that she's palling around with style icons like Nicole Richie. She appeared on Richie's show about a month ago.

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But things weren't always this whimsical. Baddie Winkle was depressed for a long time after losing her husband and her son.

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She has found solace in her new identity. 'I cried all the time because I couldn't come to terms with it, so I made myself over into Baddie Winkle,' she said.

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Her new aesthetic was born when she tried on her granddaughter's cutoffs and T-shirt to lay out in the sun. Kennedy, 19, loved the way her grandma looked in her clothes and posted a photo online.

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Her Instagram account grew followers quickly. Just a year after she signed up for the photo-sharing app, Miley Cyrus shared this image of herself performing with Baddie Winkle's head instead of her own.

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She credits her granddaughter Kennedy with helping her pick out clothes.

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As her fame grew, she started gaining media attention and even became the face of an LA brand called Dimepiece.

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The budding model was also featured in a VMA promo.

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It all culminated on Sunday, when she walked the red carpet at the VMAs.

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That's definitely not the last we'll be seeing of Baddie Winkle, the internet's own Betty White.

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She's always been a rebel, she says, and her new alter ego enables her to take more risks and have more fun.

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'I'm not an old person,' she says. 'I've never been an old person. I just do my thing.'

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