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dolly parton makeup free.jpg

Dolly Parton Says The Only Time We'll See Her Makeup-Free Is When She's Dead

By Emily Richardson | Celebrity | October 12, 2023 |

By Emily Richardson | Celebrity | October 12, 2023 |

dolly parton makeup free.jpg

Last week, Pamela Anderson made headlines for her choice to go makeup-free at Paris Fashion Week. Jamie Lee Curtis called it an “act of courage”, and announced that “the natural beauty revolution” had begun! Um, maybe for Pam and Jamie, but, not the legendary Dolly Parton. The Backwoods Barbie says the only way we can take her makeup is when we scrape it off her cold, dead face.

77-year-old Dolly has a busy couple months ahead of her. Her first-ever rock album, Rockstar, is released next month, and her new book, Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones, comes out next week. Dolly says the book is about her clothes, fashion, hair, and “all the looks I’ve had.” Fun!

In a new interview with People, Dolly talks about her love of cosmetics. She says that she’s been makeup-obsessed since growing up in Eastern Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. Even though she didn’t have access to beauty products, little Dolly found creative ways to paint her face:

“I’d find ways to create my own makeup with pokeberries and stuff that grew wild in the fields. I think all people that grow up in the mountains learn how to improvise with what you don’t have,” she says. “I would strike Mama’s old kitchen matches to make eyebrows and my beauty mark. Still, I find myself mixing and matching different makeups for different colors.”

Dolly has always maintained that she’ll never leave her house without high heels and a full face of makeup. But all bets are off when she dies:

In fact, she says there’s only one way she’d ever be seen publicly with a bare face: “Death!”

“You’d just have to see me laid out on a stretcher,” jokes Parton, before offering up a more serious scenario: “No, if my husband [Carl Thomas Dean] was sick, or if there was an emergency, of course, I would [leave the house without makeup].”

Dolly also did an interview with the Guardian to promote her book and album, and she talked about her childhood style inspiration, the “town tramp”:

“She was flamboyant. She had bright red lipstick, long red fingernails. She had high-heeled shoes, little floating plastic goldfish in the heels of them, short skirts, low-cut tops, and I just thought she was beautiful. When people would say, ‘She ain’t nothing but trash,’ I would always say, ‘Well, that’s what I’m gonna be when I grow up.’”

Dolly explains that, when she was a child, she was surrounded by women who’d been worn down by years of raising kids. Her own mom, Avie Lee Parton, had 12 children by the time she was 35. She didn’t have the time or energy to put any effort into her looks. So, to Dolly, the “town tramp” represented something exciting and glamorous. Unfortunately, her grandfather, a preacher and sharecropper, didn’t approve. He’d whip poor little Dolly for the way she dressed:

“I was willing to pay for it,” she says. “I’m very sensitive, I didn’t like being disciplined - it hurt my feelings so bad to be scolded or whipped or whatever. But sometimes there’s just that part of you that’s willing, if you want something bad enough, to go for it.”

Damn, she’s always been a badass. Here’s Dolly’s latest single off Rockstar, a cover of “What’s Up?” with Linda Perry: