Dolly Parton On Happiness, Plastic Surgery, & Being Called White Trash

“People always say ‘You seem to always be so happy.’ But I’m not always happy. Nobody is happy all the time. I’m a very sensitive person. I’m a songwriter, so I have to live with my feelings on my sleeve. I have to not harden my heart, because I want to stay open to feel things. So when I hurt, I hurt all over. And when I cry, I cry real hard. And when I’m mad, I’m mad all over. I’m just a person; I like to experience whatever the feeling is and whatever I’m going through. But I have a good attitude. And I was born with a happy heart. I’m always looking for things to be better.”

In an interview with Southern LivingDolly Parton got real about the feelings behind that lipstick-caked smile of hers. I’d have been surprised if she said anything different. Fake as her boobs may be, her character is as real as it gets, and her honesty about that is one more excuse to be obsessed with her. She also talked about the plastic surgery habit that got her those boobs in the first place:

“Well, I never would have said I did it if I hadn’t got caught at it. But I wasn’t gonna lie about it! So then after I got caught and I didn’t lie about it, people started asking me [more often]. And I thought, ‘Well, you know, what the hell?’ After so much time, after you get older, it can help people. I’m not being the poster child for any of that, but people know you do it. If they ask me, I just say ‘Yeah, whatever. And I ain’t done yet!'”

Hey, like she said, facelifts can help people! Ain’t no shame in the boob job game if that’s what makes you happy.

Dolly also teased out the finer points of the assumptions and sometimes authenticity that come with growing up poor in the mountains. When she was asked how she feels about being called a hillbilly, she had this to say:

“Well, it’s a compliment to me. I mean we were really Hill. Billies. To me that’s not an insult. We were just mountain people. We were really redneck, roughneck, hillbilly people. And I’m proud of it. ‘White trash!’ I am. People always say ‘Aren’t you insulted when people call you white trash?’ I say, ‘Well it depends on who’s calling me white trash and how they mean it.’ But we really were to some degree. Because when you’re that poor and you’re not educated, you fall in those categories. But I’m proud of my hillbilly, white trash background. To me that keeps you humble; that keeps you good. And it doesn’t matter how hard you try to outrun it—if that’s who you are, that’s who you are. It’ll show up once in a while.”

If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, her full interview has plenty of other little gems and bits of wisdom that could only come from a mind like hers.

[Southern Living]

[Image via AKM-GSI]