Monday, November 17, 2014

Golden Kermit Award: Dolly Parton

Two things Dolly Parton has always been good at: being a class act with a sense of humor, and being a human being. She did it again in a recent interview during a Billboard photoshoot where she comments on using her beliefs as an incentive to treat other people like they're also human beings instead of a weapon of social punishment. Here's hoping that gains traction with more people using the Christian label.

I'm glad to see her coming up on her 50th anniversary in the music industry and still going strong. And still plugging her success and business acumen back into her home region and it's people in the form of jobs, literacy and scholarships, support of heritage crafts and folk lore, and conservation, including giving a disabled hang gliding eagle a home and a vehicle for helping his species make a comeback from extinction. She's where a bit of the attitude that's kept me in one piece came from.

Most of my family that listened to secular music were country fans, so somewhat ironically, all things considered, I grew up with Parton's music and her habit of refusing to cram her larger than life self (literally and figuratively) into anyone else's box. I could relate to her by age eleven. I was an early bloomer, and when I was in elementary school in the 70's any girl wearing a bra in fourth grade had a lot of incredibly stupid crap to put up with. Slut-shaming isn't anything new, and I thought it was doubly ridiculous to get bombed with it over something I didn't have a say in. Especially when it got paired up with lame garbage like "But people still won't like you unless you act right" and admonitions to at least try to be pretty. Just not pretty like that. You know, the nice, quiet, demure sort of pretty that also doesn't think too much. Out loud, anyway.

I read about and heard people giving her flak over her famous cleavage and her "Flash, Bang, & Brains" approach, and her outlook that took their petty BS and fired it right back at them by taking the caricature she made of herself, working it like a boss, and having a good time making fun of it all in one go. It was an ongoing class on self-preservation and not letting sad little people drag you into their personal Plane of Suck.

May she and her attitude keep running around loose being contagious for a long time yet. The more heavy-handed the rulers get, the more we need people who write their own rules. And who are too busy having fun doing it to care if someone gets their knickers in a knot over it (salutes)

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