Dolly Parton is one of my feminist role models. On the surface she appears to be an earthy bird, a singing pair of boobs, but if you take a second look, she is so much more. Dolly Parton is a successful businesswoman who can teach all of us a thing or two about body image, business and family. TO WIT:
How To Live With A Big Chest
''When I talk to a man, I can always tell what he's thinkin' by where he's lookin'. See, if he's lookin' at my eyes, he's lookin' for intelligence. If he's lookin' at my mouth, well, he's lookin' for wit and wisdom. If he's lookin' anywhere else except my chest... he's lookin' for another man.''
Dolly Parton and I are the same height—five feet and we have large chests. You really only have two options in this situation. Wear billowy clothes to hide your chest and look like you weigh two stone more than you actually do or wear clothes that show you have a chest and don't take it personally when you notice furtive glances to your chestal region. Parton is used to people looking at her bountiful bosom and proudly shows them off.
Also, when Parton wears her outfits, you will notice that the money spent is not on the latest designer name but for the for the latest in structural enigeering and flying buttresses that keep that classic hourglass shape up and at ‘em even in her 60s.
Own Your Looks
“I may look fake but I'm real where it counts.”
Parton has long said she based her looks on the “town trash.” She makes no secret of her plastic surgery. She has made a choice and she doesn't hide it. She knows she looks different and tells people, “If it makes you feel good, then do it.”
As she's aged, she's become a favorite drag queen icon. So what does Parton do? She enters a Dolly Parton Look Alike Contest and is delighted to come in second place.
Never Be Afraid Of Trying Something New
“I'm not going to limit myself just because people won't accept the fact that I can do something else.”
Parton never stops working. She's foremost a singer and songwriter but she's got fingers in several pots from owning restaurants, a theme park, acting and producing in hit movies and creating her own line of wigs for Revlon. Parton is not afraid to branch out into other forms music than her traditional country and western. She's enjoyed success in the pops and even recently as this year dipped her toe into the world of hip hop by rapping on the Queen Latifah talk show.
Keep Your Private Life Private
“He says he'd think less of any man who didn't fall in love with me.”
Parton's husband Carl Dean is seldom seen and some question his existence. Perhaps this is the case of a sassy extrovert married to a quiet introvert, but the bottom line is that she's kept her relationship with him out of the papers. It's ten times easier to deal the ups and downs of the long terms without the rest of the world adding their two pence worth.
He doesn't enjoy crowds and she doesn't force him to be part of her persona. They've set the rules for their nontraditional relationship: he's content to stay home and work on the farm, they both chose not to have kids and she travels around the world constantly. Weird? It works.
Saying No Can Lead To Success
“I never slept with anybody to get ahead in my career. It didn't take long for them to realise I wasn't there to sell my body, but because my work was worthy. ‘I have a gift and think I can make us both a lot of money – are you interested?' and they usually were.”
Casting couches are not secret in the entertainment industry, especially when Parton was getting started. But she kept to her guns and mastered the art of telling an amorous producer “no” without burning bridges.
Have Tremendous Fun
“It was really just for fun. I wasn't trying to be vulgar. I don't think he saw me.”
She had some margaritas with friends and afterwards went streaking through Tom Jones's backyard. ‘Nuff said.