Dolly Parton says she was told not to look 'so cheap' during the early days of her career
Dolly Partonsaid she received advice early on in her career to not look "so cheap."
- "Nobody was ever going to take me seriously, they would say," the singer said on a podcast.
During a recent appearance on the "Worklife with Adam Grant" podcast, Dolly Parton said she was told early on in her career to not look "cheap."
While the country singer is known for her iconic hair, makeup, and outfits now, Parton revealed she initially received some backlash over her personal style.
"The main advice that people wanted to give me was to change my look — to go simpler with my hair and the way that I dress," Parton said, per People. "Not to look so cheap, nobody was ever going to take me seriously, they would say."
The "9 to 5" star attributed her unique interpretation of glamorous dressing to her rural Tennessee upbringing.
"The way I look and the way I looked then was a country girl's idea of glam. People wanted me to change, they thought I looked cheap. But I patterned my look after the town tramp," Parton explained.
"Everybody said, 'She's trash.' And in my little girl mind, I thought, 'Well, that's what I'm going to be when I grow up,'" the singer continued. "It was really like a look I was after. I wasn't a natural beauty."
"I just like to look the way I look," Parton added. "I'm so outgoing inside in my personality, that I need the way I look to match all of that."
Parton said she's always loved the costumes she's worn in movies, including "the little blue coat, yellow sweater, or the cowgirl outfit" from "9 to 5."
But the outfit that holds the most meaning for Parton is the dress she wore to sing "He's Alive" at the 1989 Country Music Association Awards.
"It was beautiful, white-beaded, pearls and stuff all over the dress," Parton told Insider. "And when you raised your arms, it looked like wings underneath."
"That night when I sang that song, it was so emotional to me," she continued. "I was just overcome with a really strong spiritual high. So it left a memory in my mind and, every time I see that dress in a picture, I think of that night and singing that song. I felt like I was putting some good out in the world. So that dress, so far, is most memorable to me."
Listen to Parton's full podcast episode below.
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