Dolly Parton: “Before Gaga, I Was Ga-udy”

Dolly blogs about insecurity and her iconic look.

Photography by: Dolly Parton Mgmt.

Before Lady Gaga wore meat dresses and Madonna wore cone bras, Dolly Parton was already making a name for herself with her outrageous sparkly clothes, big hair, towering heels and thick makeup. “People always ask me, ‘Do you think you’ll ever tone down your look?’” Dolly writes in a blog Blackbook. “And I say, ‘Well, hell no! Why should I?’ I was gaudy when gaudy wasn’t cool. Before Gaga I was Ga-udy. I was being outrageous even before Madonna.”

The country legend says that her look is built, at least partly, on insecurity. “I’ve always been, at least somewhere inside me, the country girl who wants to be pretty. I make jokes about myself before other people can make them about me, and I think that must stem from some sort of insecurity. It’s like that song [“Backwoods Barbie”] on my last album: I’m just a backwoods Barbie, too much makeup, too much hair / But don’t be fooled by thinking that the goods are not all there.

"In the mornings, even when I’m not going anywhere, I get up and put on my makeup and my high heels—if only because I can’t reach my cabinets without them," she writes. "Eventually people realize that there’s a brain under this hair, and a heart under these boobs, but I also like being a character that they can enjoy. It makes it kind of fun when I do get out on stage and tell my real story, and they get to see the real me. I’m a very artificial-looking person, but I’m a very real person.”

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