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“My weaknesses have always been food and men – in that order.”

 

This is solely an appreciation post for Dolly Parton. Nothing more, nothing less. Dolly is an absolute icon in any and every way possible. Wholesome and ready to fight at a drop of a hat, Dolly is the epitome of what humanity should strive to be. My grandmother first introduced Dolly Parton and we would binge watch her movies during our ‘stay-cations’ and her movies exclusively. She has done a variety of things in her 60-year career and none of them have been disappointing to me and if I were to choose one definite life goal for my future, it would probably be ‘to be Dolly Parton.’ In no particular order, here are only some of the things that leave me in awe about Ms. Dolly

 

“It’s a good thing I was born a girl, otherwise I’d be a drag queen.”

 

Dolly Parton is probably most known for her looks and music. My favorite song of hers is “Jolene.” This song was one of the first songs I can vividly remember belting in the backseat of my parents’ car when I was roughly 6 years old.  There is something about her voice, the words, and the desperation blatantly on display that wrecked my 6-year-old spirit that had never even thought boys were the same species as me–but if Jolene dared try to take him, I was ready to fight. Also, let’s not forget the glory that is the video of Miley Cyrus covering “Jolene” (here) because that changed my life! There are so many other great songs that she has tithed to the world and I love the movie Dumplin’ that exclusively uses her music for the soundtrack and acts as an appreciation movie for Dolly.

 

“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap”

 

In my opinion, the best thing she has done is the Imagination Library. The Imagination Library was founded by Dolly in 1995 and is currently still active. Dolly created the program for any family–regardless of income–so that every child would have access to books. It started as a local program but it has developed into a global production that has sent children millions of books. She dedicates this foundation to her father who she says was the smartest man she knew, but since he never learned to read, he wasn’t able to fulfill all of his dreams. If Dolly did nothing else but this, she would still be my hero. It is selfless acts that truly amaze me because there aren’t many celebrities who are so down-to-earth as Dolly. Especially nowadays, there is always scandal after scandal from Hollywood and Dolly Parton serves as a breath of fresh air. 

 

“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb – and I’m not blonde either.”

 

There has been a video circulating social media of Dolly Parton and Patti LaBelle (here) playing music with their acrylic nails and I am in love with it. It has brought me so much joy I never expected! I could watch that interview clip on repeat for the rest of my life, and I doubt I would get tired of it. There is something so genuine about her–and of course Patti–that is so endearing.

 

“I was the first woman to burn my bra – it took the fire department four days to put it out.”

 

One overall theme in Dolly’s life is that she is completely unashamed of who she is and she never hides it. Even in movies and TV shows she is in, she always seems to put a little bit of herself into her character, too. Not only does she stay true to who she is, but who she is is absolutely amazing. For this article, I googled “Has Dolly Parton Done Anything Wrong”, and the only thing that I could find was an article that quotes her saying that the only thing she regretted in her career is in one show she didn’t portray herself in a way she wanted to. There was also a quick incident about her “Dixie Stampede theatre” that was getting backlash in 2017 because people said the word “dixie” is offensive. She never hesitated and quickly changed the name to “The Stampede” because she said “As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is.” She is unashamed and quick to address issues that matter and she tries her best to respect anyone and everyone she encounters. 

 

 “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”

 

Hopefully, this has been an adequate Dolly Parton appreciation post, but I doubt such a thing could ever exist. Dolly Parton is a gift to humanity and should be acknowledged as such. From head (top of her hair, rather) to toe, she is authentically her and is not afraid to say what she wants and means. Her music has been a big part of my life (and my shampoo bottles’), I have loved all of her movies (regardless of if they are actually good or not), and her contributions to society lighten the heavy load of life on my heart. 

 

“If I see something saggin’, baggin’, or draggin’, I’m gone have it nipped, tucked, or sucked”

Mandilyn McMillan

Louisiana Tech '20

I am a Senior at Louisiana Tech University and I have spent my years studying Literature and trying to learn some Spanish. I enjoy sneaking around with 'non-scholarly' books in my purse wherever I go and having strong opinions where they matter.
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