Dolly Parton Was Beat Up For Wearing Iconic Makeup Growing Up

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Today, she is easily recognized and celebrated as a country music icon, always with a broad smile ready, highlighted by bold makeup under a pile of blonde waves. But growing up, Dolly Parton used to receive a lot of negativity because of her appearance, to the point she would be beaten up for it.

She found herself in a lose-lose position; without makeup, those around her belittled her appearance, which they called “ugly,” and with her makeup, she would get beaten up for it. This started years ago, inspired by Parton’s admiration of a local woman’s sensual appearance. How did Parton navigate this precarious tightrope?

Continuous insults ingrained themselves into her mentality

Dolly Parton was belittled with and without makeup growing up
Dolly Parton was belittled with and without makeup growing up / © Buena Vista / courtesy Everett Collection

Considering her formative years, Parton said, “I think I always felt inadequate.” That would be an understandable symptom, given what she was constantly told by those around her. “I was an ugly little ol’ young-un. I used to overhear people saying, ‘Look at that little ugly tabbyheaded young-un. She don’t even look like one of Lee and Avie Lee’s kids,’” she recalled.

RELATED: Dolly Parton’s Advice To Her Younger Self Is Priceless

So began her acquaintance with makeup, a relationship that began before high school. In the book Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You, Parton wrote, “Until I was a teenager, I used red pokeberries for lipstick and a burnt matchstick for eyeliner.” Then, as time went by, she transitioned to designated makeup tools and concoctions. Parton had a particular look she sought, all in the name of her philosophy to live life to the fullest, though it came with a new risk for completely the opposite reason.

Dolly Parton recreated her favorite makeup look and was beat up for it

Parton took inspiration from multiple sources she deemed beautiful. Most familiar was the town “trollop,” of whom Parton said, “I just knew she was beautiful. She had all this beautiful blonde hair, red lipstick and makeup, tight short skirts, and high heel shoes. I just thought she was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen, so I kind of patterned my look after that.” Her sister also recalled Parton imitating Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, and Rita Hayworth.

That seemed to raise new problems, however. “I couldn’t stop what I had a desire to do — which was everything. Which was to live. Which was to be,” Parton explained, adding, “I certainly used to get the s— beat out of me for wearing makeup and stuff. I was totally outcast.”

Dolly Parton
THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, Dolly Parton, 1982. ©Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

RELATED: Dolly Parton Shares Her Past And Present Celebrity Crushes

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The post Dolly Parton Was Beat Up For Wearing Iconic Makeup Growing Up appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Dana Daly

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