Dolly Parton on Inspiring Girls and Women to Be Themselves: "I Broke Boundaries Just By Being Myself"

YES, Dolly!

dolly parton
(Image credit: Getty)

Dolly Parton is a universally loved celebrity, with many iconic songs to her name, as well as a ton of hyper-successful business ventures, and a seemingly infinite well of wisdom.

The country starrecently turned rocker—is also known for her wonderful sense of humor, especially when it comes to making lighthearted fun of her hyper-recognizable appearance, with her big blonde wigs and her sparkly outfits. "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap," she once famously said.

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But in reality, Parton's unwillingness to compromise on her appearance is one of her greatest strengths, as she just beautifully articulated in an interview with Zoe Ball, on BBC Radio 2.

"I broke boundaries just by being myself, I let a lot of, especially girls and young women, and people know that its OK to be yourself!" she told Ball.

"A lot of the press, the people who were top of the line said, 'Dolly, no one’s ever gonna take you serious looking like that.'

"I said, 'Well, this is how I like to look, this is who I feel I am, and I’m comfortable in how I look and if I feel good about how I look, no matter how bizarre it may seem to you—I’m gonna do my best work."

She continued, "And if my talent is really there, I’m gonna get discovered sooner or later as a serious songwriter. If people hear the songs, whether it's someone else singing them or not, they’re gonna start taking me serious as a singer, writer, songwriter and as a person."

Asked to impart her greatest piece of wisdom with listeners, Parton added, "My wisdom is to be true to yourself, I guess. Is that Shakespeare—'To thine own self be true?'" (NB: it is indeed a line from Hamlet.)

Parton is on the interview circuit right now amid the release of her new album Rockstar, which features collaborations with the likes of Sting, Lizzo, Elton John, and Miley Cyrus.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.