Dolly Parton: People advised me to ‘not look so cheap, go simpler with my hair’

by Susan Ryant

As I get older, I understand more and more that my idea of “glamorous” might actually be pretty tacky. I also think Southerners have a different idea of glamour and style than, say, Californians or New Yorkers. I like when things look pulled together, when everything matches or coordinates well. I like animal prints, fluffy hairstyles, and French manicures. I think that stuff looks great. And I love the way Dolly Parton looks – she’s glittery, flashy, shiny and “made up.” Would her style work on every woman? No, but it works perfectly on Dolly. Dolly was recently on the WorkLife podcast with Adam Grant, and she spoke about her style and why she feels glamorous in her rhinestones and wigs.

Dolly on the advice she’s received over the years: “The main advice that people wanted to give me was to change my look – to go simpler with my hair and the way that I dress. Not to look so cheap, nobody was ever going to take me seriously, they would say.”

Her origin story: “The way I look and the way I looked then was a country girl’s idea of glam, just like I wrote in my ‘Backwoods Barbie’ song. People wanted me to change, they thought I looked cheap. But I patterned my look after the town tramp. Everybody said, ‘She’s trash.’ And in my little girl mind, I thought, ‘Well, that’s what I’m going to be when I grow up.’ It was really like a look I was after. I wasn’t a natural beauty. So, I just like to look the way I look. I’m so outgoing inside in my personality, that I need the way I look to match all of that.”

She’s so busy: “I’ve got so many irons in the fire that sometimes I’m burning my own butt. I have to get up earlier, I have to work longer, and I have to have a bigger cup of ambition in the morning to get it all done… I don’t have time to burn out, I’m burning up. I’m a creative person and every new thing will create something else … energy begets energy and creativity begets creativity, so I just really have to stay with it because I want to see things happen, I want to make things happen.”

How she relaxes: After a stressful work day, Parton said she likes to spend time at home with her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, and either cook or read. She also turns to her relationship with God for comfort: “I always say when things are bad I pray, when they get worse, I pray harder.”

She doesn’t swell on past mistakes. “I like to enjoy my work, I like to have it be fun, and I like the people around me to have fun doing it. My biggest regret is I have no regrets.”

[From People CNBC]

I feel like crying whenever I read interviews with Dolly. She just has it figured out. She never misses! Think of all of the things she’s gotten right just in recent years, from the pandemic (she partially funded the Moderna vaccine) to Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ-allyship. She’s amazing. The one thing I’ll knock her for is that she was always a beautiful woman – she says “I wasn’t a natural beauty,” but she absolutely was. And still is, her beauty shines through no matter what.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

Premiere Of Netflix's "Dumplin'",Image: 401082875, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – DECEMBER 06: Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Netflix’s ‘Dumplin” held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX 6 on December 6, 2018 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States.,Image: 534823712, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: WORLD RIGHTS excluding China – Fee Payable Upon Reproduction – For queries contact Avalon.red – sales@avalon.red London: +44 (0) 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles: +1 (310) 822 0419 Berlin: +49 (0) 30 76 212 251 Madrid: +34 91 533 4289, Model Release: no, Credit line: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency / Image Press Agency / Avalon LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – FEBRUARY 08: Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the 2019 MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Dolly Parton held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency),Image: 535252324, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: WORLD RIGHTS – Fee Payable Upon Reproduction – For queries contact Avalon.red – sales@avalon.red London: +44 (0) 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles: +1 (310) 822 0419 Berlin: +49 (0) 30 76 212 251 Madrid: +34 91 533 4289, Model Release: no, Credit line: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency / Xavier Collin / Avalon LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – FEBRUARY 08: Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the 2019 MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Dolly Parton held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency),Image: 535255654, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: WORLD RIGHTS – Fee Payable Upon Reproduction – For queries contact Avalon.red – sales@avalon.red London: +44 (0) 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles: +1 (310) 822 0419 Berlin: +49 (0) 30 76 212 251 Madrid: +34 91 533 4289, Model Release: no, Credit line: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency / Xavier Collin / Avalon Hollywood, CA – Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Netflix’s ‘Dumplin” held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX 6. Pictured: Dolly Parton BACKGRID USA 6 DECEMBER 2018 BYLINE MUST READ: Image Press / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients – Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*