Dubbed by John Waters as "the most beautiful woman in the world, almost", the impact of Divine on popular culture cannot be underestimated. From drag culture to music, film and art, his bravery and unabashed sense of self set a vital precedent for the emergence of drag on a more mainstream stage.
Portraits of Divine were painted by several famous artists, including David Hockney.
Since his death, fans of Divine visit Prospect Hill Cemetery in Towson, Maryland to pay their respects. In what has become a tradition, fans have been known to leave makeup, food, and graffiti on his grave in memoriam.
Divine was the inspiration for Ursula the Sea Witch, the villain in Disney's 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid.
A 10-foot tall statue of Divine by Andrew Logan can be seen on permanent display at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
Due to Divine's portrayal of Edna Turnblad in the original film version of Hairspray, later adaptations have commonly placed male actors in the role of Edna, including Harvey Fierstein and others in the 2002 Broadway musical, and John Travolta in the 2007 musical film.
I Am Divine, a feature documentary on the life of Divine, premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest film festival and had its Baltimore premiere as part of the Maryland Film Festival.
In 2018, Kat Von D Beauty released a super-limited collection inspired by Divine celebrating self-expression and positivity.
In 2020, LOEWE produced a limited edition Divine collection that celebrated freedom and self-determination in support of Visual AIDS and Baltimore Pride.
In 2021, LOEWE and Loewe Foundation presented an exhibition honoring Divine at CASA LOEWE Madrid as part of PHotoEspaña.