I love Dolly Parton. Most of you already know this, but just in case you didn't... I love Dolly. Once, one of my best friends worked at the Opryland hotel during summer break, and met Dolly in a dressing room tour during her training. I was so upset that she met my idol, and clearly did not fully appreciate the life-changing magnitude of what had just happened to her, that I threw the phone and didn't speak to her for like three days. Extreme? Maybe. But that is my deep Dolly love.
Like my spirit animal Dolly Parton, I'm a little bit of a glamourpuss, except in college when I went through a bit of a crunchy phase. I still care about the issues I cared about then - but I realized there's nothing that says I can't save the Earth in Revlon Red lipstick and pumps. I love animal print, although that's more Elizabeth Taylor's influence. I spend too much money on my hair and nails and am only allowed to go into Ulta like once a week.
Since I turned thirty, I have become overly aware of all the tiny lines on my face that are going to eventually deepen and become wrinkles. I am aware that my boobs used to sit a little higher than they currently do (ok, a lot higher). I am VERY aware of the single grey hair that is sprouting out of my scalp at this very moment. And I don't like any of it. It's not that I mind the actual process of aging. As I said in my birthday post, I would not willingly go back to being 22. I don't care what Taylor Swift says, my twenties were hard, and I am a much happier woman at thirty than I ever was during what were the supposed best years of my life. But I do mind looking older. Now, when I get carded, I know they're just doing it because its their job, not because I really look like I might be twenty. I know there's nothing you can do about it, blah blah blah, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.
I've heard a lot of criticism that Dolly promotes some kind of anti-feminist body image agenda because she gets plastic surgery and wears crazy wigs and too much make-up and her boobs are probably worth more than the Heart of the Ocean (and definitely a lot more buoyant). But to me, there's nothing wrong with that. As I have never met Dolly Parton, I can't say this for certain, but I am fairly confident Dolly looks the way she does for herself and no one else. I love Dolly Parton not just because she's a brilliant talent, but also because she is the original embodiment of #sorrynotsorry. She doesn't care if you don't like her hair, her boobs, or her songs - she's happy with who she is.
Now, I am not a famous grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated (for 9 to 5) mult-platinum recording artist with her own theme park, but I am taking a page out of Dolly's book, and saying #sorrynotsorry. In one of her many quotable soundbites, Dolly told someone, "I dress comfortable for me, and you shouldn't be blamed because you want to look pretty."
So thank you, Dolly. For giving me the confidence to look however I want. For inspiring women (and men) to be who they are and don't waste time on people who don't like it. If I want to cover up this single grey hair that is inevitably going to turn into a whole head full, I'm going to do it. If I live to be a hundred years old and want to wear head to toe leopard print pajamas and fire engine red lipstick everyday at my posh nursing home, I'm going to do it. Not because I feel like I have to live up to someone else's standard of what beauty is, but because I do it for myself and no one else.