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Dolly Parton is America’s Guardian Angel

Dolly Parton has been America’s sweetheart for over 50 years. Whether or not you listen to country music, you know her voice, her infectious smile, and her signature looks. Most of us that are in our 20s saw Dolly for the first time as “Aunt Dolly” on Hannah Montana, but her career started long before that. She comes from humble beginnings in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee where she shared one room in a cabin with her siblings and sang at church. By the time she turned 21, she packed her bags and headed to Nashville where she started a long and successful career as a songwriter. Since that time she has written over 3,000 songs over seven decades. After a very successful run on the Porter Wagoner Show, she really came into her own person. In fact, shortly after leaving the Porter Wagoner Show, she wrote two of her most popular and critically acclaimed songs: “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You.” But this was the time that she really stood out not only as a talented musician but also as a businesswoman through endeavors like Dollywood. Then in the 80s she unintentionally started a feminist movement through her song “9-5,” an anthem for working women who did not receive equal pay or the respect they deserve in their workplace. I simply can’t put into words the talent and success of this woman — she’s a living legend.

In such a divisive time in America, I think we all can agree that Dolly Parton is quite an incredible person. We truly don’t deserve her. Sure, we all know her for her music, her look, and her TV appearances, but she is also a philanthropist at heart. She consistently donates to charitable organizations ranging from helping veterans cope with PTSD, childhood diabetes, environmental causes, and emergency funds for families in need. Her largest charitable cause is the Dollywood Foundation, which aims to help underfunded areas in Tennessee where she grew to achieve educational success. This organization has become global and donates books, which they call the “Imagination Library.” She offers scholarship money to high school graduates in Sevier County Tennessee to decrease the high dropout rate and encourage higher education. 


assorted-title book lot placed on white wooden shelf
Nick Fewings/Unsplash

As a woman in country music, it can be a career-ending move to come out in support of liberal ideals. Despite this, she has supported the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and marriage equality saying, “I just think it’s not my place to judge, to criticize, and I think people should be allowed — they’re going to love who they love, and if they’re going to be with who they’re going to be with, they should have whatever benefits they can have. I’m not God. I’m not a judge.” She has always written songs about the unequal treatment of women in society. She has also been disrespected as a woman with constant comments on her breasts and her appearance. She has stated, “I still believe that women should get paid equal and should be treated with respect. I’m all about that.” While she may not consider herself a feminist, she embodies what a feminist should be. She is kind and embraces all women for their choices rather than criticizing them. Most recently she also supported the Black Lives Matter Movement saying, “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” She has pushed past the boundaries of staying quiet to appease the public and used her voice to take a standing push for equality. The root of her goodness as a person comes from her belief that all people should feel seen and heard, and that every person deserves to be loved and respected. 

This last year has been so difficult for everyone. We are all missing out on things that we have looked forward to. There is immense political stress no matter what side you are on. The fear of not seeing our loved ones is evident and anxiety about our health is high. Not to mention the millions of people experiencing additional financial pressure. In midst of all the chaos, Dolly Parton donated one million dollars to COVID-19 vaccine research. These donations lead to one of the leading vaccines that should be administered. Dolly Parton has once again helped us because she cares deeply for all people. Not only that, but she has been spreading joy to distract us from all of the tragedies of the pandemic through her new Christmas album and movie on Netflix. 

So yes, I truly believe that Dolly Parton is America’s sweetheart. She exhibits kindness and grace to everyone despite political beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, race, or class. In a time like this, it is really hard to find someone who brings us all together, yet she has done that. Dolly Parton looks out for all of us. She exudes positivity but doesn’t ignore the difficulties of life. If there such thing as a guardian angel, she is America’s.

Sources

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-timeline-of-dolly-partons-philanthropy/ss-BB18Ss2g#image=19

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/14/902506007/of-course-black-lives-matter-dolly-parton-tells-billboard

https://www.glaad.org/blog/we-will-always-love-her-dolly-continues-speak-out-equality

https://www.oprahmag.com/life/g31405640/dolly-parton-quotes/?slide=7

Kinley is a Geography major at the University of Utah emphasizing in Development, Population, and Sustainability and minoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She loves trivia (and claim that she knows a little about a lot of things), happens to be in the top 1% of Taylor Swift listeners on Spotify, and aims to talk as quick as Lorelai Gilmore. She joined Her Campus because she feels passionate about making topics like Politics, Feminism, and Mental Health approachable and accessible.
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