The Tao of Dolly: Sassy Philosophy From the Great Ms. Parton

Let’s just cut to the chase—you Dolly Parton fans in the UK really, really lucked out this year. The Queen of Country not only graced the stage of the 2014 Glastonbury Festival, she also snagged an award for 100 million album sales while she was there. This goes as no surprise, though. The woman’s a real-deal superstar.

But don’t let her status fool you: it’s no frills when it comes to Dolly (granted, there may be some leather fringe. . .but definitely no frills). Between her refreshing honesty, unwavering confidence and good ol’ fashioned humor, there are tidbits of divine wisdom. If you don’t believe me, just know she was quoted telling Andy Warhol and Maura Moynihan that, “I love everybody, and I go right through the bullsh*t to the core of every person because we are all one . . . The biggest freaks in the world are my favorite people, like you, like me.” Now, until someone makes a great big book on Dollyism (AKA the wit and wisdom of Dolly Parton), I’ve made a guide to hold you over. Behold, the Tao of Dolly:

Dollyism #1: Have a sense of humor about everything. Even wigs.

Dollyism #2: Self-assurance is a beautiful thing.

Dollyism #3: “Do you”…and don’t apologize for it:

Dollyism #4: Don’t be a slave to crappy circumstances. Turn it around.

Dollyism #5: Forgiveness can set you free, too.

Dollyism #6: What other people think of you is none of your business.

Dollyism #7: Only you can draw your boundaries.

Dollyism #8: Have conviction.

Dollyism #9: Invest!

Dollyism #10: Don’t underestimate the power of clothing. Reason #1: She wrote her 1971 hit, “The Coat of Many Colors” about a coat her mother stitched for her from rags. Despite being laughed at by her classmates, she “wore it so proudly” and was “rich as I could be/ In my coat of many colors/ My momma made for me“.

Reason #2: Whoever said that all good ideas were written out on napkins was a damn liar. Dolly wrote “The Coat of Many Colors” while on tour with Porter Wagoner. Not having any paper at her disposal, Dolly grabbed a dry cleaning receipt from Wagoner.

Reason #3: She met her husband of 48 years at a laundromat. This has absolutely nothing to do with “The Coat of Many Colors,” but I think we can all agree that there’s a bit of a clothing theme here.

Dollyism #11: Keep it simple…in an “I Will Always Love You” kinda way.

If you didn’t know already, Dolly wrote and performed “I Will Always Love you” back in 1973, years before Whitney Houston gave the song a second life. Dolly insists that the simplicity of the song is part of what made it so successful:

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