Why We Love Dolly Parton

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a self-described feminista (one who integrates both new and old school feminist ideas, yet with a sense of humor and sass) would cling to Dolly Parton as a symbol of inspiration for women, but allow me to explain.

Dolly Parton is a strong-willed, strong-minded woman. She is unapologetic about the way she presents herself (which is particularly important for busty ladies everywhere, real or fake) and often jokes about how trashy she appears (her words, not mine.) In addition to her real world strength, Dolly portrays strong women in film as well. From the “touch my ass one more time and I will strangle you” ‘tude of 9 To 5 to the “I own my sexuality” approach in Best Little Whorehouse…, she is uncompromising in being a positive role model. This is a quality that is exceedingly and increasingly rare. One of my number-one frustrations with the current state of cinema is how women are portrayed. Being taken seriously is already an uphill battle for women everywhere, without the added difficulty of women in movies being portrayed as braying nags, psycotic basket cases or helpless bunny rabbits. Dolly has rejected these roles and has portrayed women who stand up for themselves, who stick to what they think is right, and who never apologize for being a woman.

There is a reason that so many drag queens look to Dolly as an example of WOMAN; to me, Dolly embodies woman at her deepest core. If you attack her for being a caricature of femininity, you are missing the point. It is not about what she looks like — plain or garish — but the ideas she propels. 

Above all, she is a power house of a performer of screen and stage. So here’s to you Dolly, from one feminista to another. Keep fighting the good fight!