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10 of Dolly Parton’s boldest beauty looks to inspire you

‘It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!’

Here at Dazed Beauty HQ, we have nothing but love for our queen Dolly Parton. A country music legend. Unapologetic wig-enthusiast. The woman who wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” in one night. A long time prolific philanthropist whose literacy program has sent out over 100 million books to kids. 

She also did the small thing this year of helping to fund the Moderna coronavirus vaccine with a $1m donation, thus doing more than many governments to help the pandemic effort. If that’s not enough she secretly helped to produce Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We shouldn’t be too surprised though. As they do say, the bigger the hair, the closer to God. And Dolly must be right up there in God’s personal space.  

Since the beginning of her career, Parton has used beauty in a very purposeful way to construct an identity for herself. The bleached blonde hair teased up to the heavens, the make-up, the musical acrylic nails, and the rhinestones have all become signatures of Parton’s larger-than-life image. As she says, “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap!” 

It’s a look that is famously modelled after a woman Parton describes as “the town tramp” who used to walk around when Parton was growing up with red lips, bleached hair, and tight clothes. “I thought she was so beautiful and everyone used to say, ‘oh, she ain’t nothing but trash,’” Parton says. “I used to say ‘well that’s what I’m going to be when I grow up. Trash.’”

Our image-obsessed society can often judge a woman harshly for dressing in a way deemed “trashy” but Parton has never, to put it politely, given a single fuck. Her artificial look is a defining part of her identity alongside her talent, intelligence, and disarmingly unpretentious kindness and charm. As she herself says, “I’m not offended by all of the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb and I also know that I’m not blonde.”

Following the news that her long-awaited fragrance is set for spring 2021 launch (we’ll see you at the checkout) we look back over some of our favourite, most Dolly, Dolly Parton beauty looks.