11 Iconic Dolly Parton Quotes About Mental Health, Body Image, and Relationships

When you think of the phrase “living legend,” who comes to mind? For us, it’s the blonde bombshell with the 60-year career (and counting!), Dolly Parton. The iconic country singer is one of the most respected performers of our generation, having written some of the best country and pop songs ever, including “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” and “9 to 5.”

With her big blonde hair and signature hourglass frame, Dolly is one of the most recognizable pop culture figures ever. But, curves and mega-talent aside, the singer-songwriter also came from very humble beginnings that have helped frame a very unique perspective on life. As a matter of fact, she regularly shares her wisdom in the many interviews that she gives. Here are 11 of our personal favorite pieces of advice, straight from Dolly herself…

  1. On the importance of starting your days early

    “God’s like a farmer. He gets up and throws out all of these ideas like corn, and I want to be the early bird.”

  2. On how perceptions about beauty have turned her into a “backwards Barbie”

    “It’s like I’m just a backwards Barbie—too much makeup, too much hair, but don’t be fooled by thinking that the goods aren’t all there. Don’t let these false eyelashes lead you to believe that I’m as phony as I look, cause I run true and deep.”

  3. On the harsh societal pressures put on young girls

    “I really worry a lot about young girls today because they think they have to look like the models or the people on television,” she said. “We need to be accepting of ourselves in how we are.”

  4. On how she copes with all of those ‘dumb blonde’ jokes

    “I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb…and I also know I’m not blonde.”

  5. On how her signature wigs, makeup, and sparkly outfits aren’t light on the wallet

    “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap!”

  6. On why people should live more authentically

    “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

  7. On the impact that we should all be making in the world

    “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, and do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader.”

  8. On the true meaning of empathy

    “I have a strict policy that no one cries alone in my presence.”

  9. On how success can be measured by staying true to oneself

    “A lot of people have said I’d have probably done better in my career if I hadn’t looked so cheap and gaudy. But I dress to be comfortable for me, and you shouldn’t be blamed because you want to look pretty.”

  10. On appreciating the simple things in life

    “They think I’m simpleminded because I seem to be happy. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more. Maybe I am simpleminded. Maybe that’s the key: simple.”

  11. On the power of perseverance, passion, and persistence

    “Above everything else I’ve done, I’ve always said I’ve had more guts than I’ve got talent.”

And, there you go, folks–Dolly Parton has just gotten even wiser and even cooler. We wish there were more living legends that were as authentic, funny, and just plain talented as her. Dolly forever!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these classic Dolly Parton quotes. Which one is your favorite? Are you a fan of Dolly’s? What’s the best piece of advice that you have ever received?