When I was a boy, Dolly Parton was to me… the ideal woman. You have to understand I grew up in the Deep South, what the locals call “Dixie.” Down south, country music is a really big deal and growing up there whether you like it or not you hear a lot of country music. And now that I’m a grown-up black man living in California, I often have to defend my love of country music. The best way I’ve found is to bring up Dolly Parton. Who doesn’t like Dolly Parton? If you don’t know who Dolly is… you’re missing out on one of the best people we have in this wide weird world. Folks say Dolly Parton is the “Queen of Country Music.”
She was “discovered” by Johnny Cash when she performed at the Grand Ole Opry at the tender age of 13 years old. He told her she had a bright future ahead of her and he was right! She’s recorded numerous number one records, songs considered classics of country as well as pop music. Over time, she’s expanded her audience also becoming a popular movie star. Starring in films such as “9 to 5” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” Not just a star, she’s a damn fine businesswoman who owns and operates her own theme park, called Dollywood. I’ve been there- it’s like the Disneyland of Dixie. And these days, most young folks know her best as the godmother of Miley Cyrus, seeing her for the first time when she often appeared on the hit show “Hannah Montana.”
No matter when you were introduced to Dolly Parton, the first thing you notice is… she’s not only a mega-star and an irresistible force of nature… she’s a style icon unlike anyone else. Once you see Dolly Parton you won’t ever forget her.
“I describe my look as a blend of Mother Goose, Cinderella… and the local hooker.”
“I`m not like a real person. I love being artificial. I think there`s a little magic in the fact that I`m so totally real, but look so artificial at the same time.”
Far back as I can recall, I remember Dolly’s really, really big… laugh! It’s sweeter than fresh melons in summertime. And her infectious giggle is a key aspect of her appeal. Now, I bet those of you who already know about Dolly thought I’d mention her really, really big… hair! That sunlit bottle-blonde hair falling like morning dew and soft like Spanish moss. But really it’s fake… since she always wears a wig.
The greatest thing about Dolly as a style icon is… she’s in on the joke. She gets it. She knows she’s a silly creature. And she doesn’t care!
“I enjoy the way I look, but it`s a joke… I look just like the girl-next-door… if you happen to live next door to an amusement park.
Of course, anytime someone talks about Dolly, you must mention her bigger-than-life… personality. Or as she puts it:
“I`m like a cartoon! I`ll look this way when I`m eighty.”
“I can see it now, people will be rolling me around in a wheelchair and I`ll still have my big hair, nails, my high heels and my boobs stuck out!
No one’s quite like Dolly. Well… except for most transvestites. It’s probably why they’ve always loved Dolly as much as I do. To me and the trannies, she’s defiant and bubbly, sweet and silly, and built to float through life… the unsinkable Dolly Parton, to borrow a phrase.
Dolly describes her attitude on life in simple terms:
“I feel blessed that I still have the little Dolly in my heart, I`m still the same girl that wants to squeeze every little drop out of life that I can.”
That’s why to this day, she still is the ideal woman to me… she never takes herself too seriously, yet always takes what she does seriously and underneath those ultra-famous boobs is a really big heart, beautiful and wide open as the country sky. I’d say Dolly Parton’s ultimate secret to success is the rare combination of an open mind, generous heart and her humble down-home folksy attitude.
“If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.”
-from her song “I Am a Rainbow”
Dolly Parton! …defiant and accepting- that’s some zen shit right there.
Now why don’t you take a moment and enjoy some Dolly:
Here’s her hit song, “Jolene” (dig the rhinestone clothes of the dude who introduces her, her former singing partner Porter Wagoner, as well as Dolly’s one-piece 70’s outfit, it’s tight-fitting and doing it’s best to hold it all in!)