Dolly Parton Says Her Look Is Part Of The Act: “Can You Imagine Anybody Wanting To Look This Way For Real?”

Dolly Parton with blonde hair
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Dolly Parton almost changed her entire look.

Can you even imagine her without all the wigs and rhinestones?

According to Showbiz, she considered it because she wanted people to focus on her music and talent as opposed to her looks.

I know, it sounds crazy now considering that it’s absolutely iconic, but it’s true.

As we know, she modeled her look after the town tramp in her hometown in East Tennessee, but there were times when she questioned it because she felt like she was viewed as a “character.”

In the book Dolly on Dolly, she revealed getting rid of all the glam is something she does think about occasionally:

“I might throw the wigs away tomorrow, next month, next year. Maybe never.

If I feel the need to, I might do something drastic when I’m ready to shock the people again. It’s unfair to keep a person bound to an image. It’s time to look inside the hour-and-a-half-glass figure and the hair, to look at the music and the talent.

I deliberately chose this appearance so that the image could sell the talent, and the talent would sell the image. But the talent was always more important and should take over now.”

On the other hand, she also said she kind of enjoys the fact that people sometimes misjudge her based on her looks, because it allows her to have more freedom and power in certain situations:

“I look one way and am another. It makes for a good combination. I always think of ‘her,’ the Dolly image, like a ventriloquist does his dummy.

I have fun with it. I think, what will I do with her this year to surprise people? What’ll she wear? What’ll she say?

A character never grows old. I guess I am a character only because I’m just totally what I am. I’m not afraid to be that and say what I want to, and just do what I want to do.”

Though it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking negatively about Dolly at all, I know at least one person who made no bones about how she felt about Dolly’s looks.

That would be good ol’ Barbara Walters, who not only told her that once, but twice, during two separate interviews years apart.

I took that one personally, clearly, but no one insults Dolly and gets away with it on my watch.

Because she’s the queen, she’s somehow managed to figure it all out and use her “character” to her advantage… I think I would call it charm, but I don’t question Dolly:

“Can you imagine anybody wanting to look this way for real? When people first get to know me, they say, ‘Why do you wear all of this?’ Then, after a week of knowing me, they totally understand.

They know it’s just a bunch of baloney. But why not? Life’s boring enough, it makes you try to spice it up.

I guess I just throw on a little too much spice.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Character or not, why would you ever want to change the way Dolly looks?

Never change, Dolly.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock