dollypartons

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I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again...

Slytherpuff may well be my favorite House combination (because of its unexpectedness, because of its total defiance of the main stereotypes of both Houses), and Dolly Parton may well be my favorite Slytherpuff.

When it comes to her job and her ambition, she’s driven and tough as nails.  Well known in the country music scene for being tough as nails too.  She always knew she wanted to be a famous singer, and she’s always done whatever she had to do to make that happen in a very competitive business.  People underestimate her because of her looks – in that respect, she reminds me of a lot of extreme femmes I’ve known or know of – but she’s got a remarkable head for business and she’s managed to retain control of her life and her creativity in an industry that, especially at the time she was coming up, was heavily male-dominated.  People ignore this at her peril.  And that’s her Slytherin side all over(1).

But in her heart, she’s all heart.  She sings from the heart, can’t sing in any other way.  And she is incredibly sentimental, to the point that it can seem fake, especially to people who are cynical about such things in general.  But if there’s something I’ve learned about things like that – sometimes the most fake-looking things are real and the most real-looking things are fake, because we’re trained not to look beyond certain stereotypes of how, say, sincerity should appear.  But I’ve known more than one person – closely, even – who when they get sincere, also get sentimental, and their writing when they are determined to show that sincerity… it can look a little big on the purple prose, both in word choice and in emotional connotations of their words and actions.  And these things, and more, arevery Hufflepuff.

That doesn’t cover it all by a longshot.

But anyway – the point of this post:  If you ever want to see a Slytherpuff child in action, you could hardly do better than to watch the two movies about Dolly Parton’s early life, which she had a huge hand in creating: Coat of Many Colors, and its sequel, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.

I don’t know how they found that little girl to play young Dolly, but she’s perfect.  And she, like Dolly herself, does a good job of showing why Slytherin doesn’t automatically mean evil, and how Slytherin and Hufflepuff aren’t the opposites people imagine them to be.  It’s not the most common House combination, but it exists for a reason.

I’m a Hufflepuff who’s fairly low on Slytherin traits, but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire them in other people.  People sometimes get the impression that I think Hufflepuff is the best House.  No, it’s more like I like it a lot since it’s my House, and I talk about it a lot because it’s underrated and underestimated.  But I like the uniqueness of every House, every House combination, and each person in each House fitting the qualities in their own unique ways that reflect how even within each House there’s a ton of diversity.  

And finally, one of my favorite Dolly Parton quotes:

“I hope people realize that there is a brain underneath the hair and a heart underneath the boobs! ;)” 

-Tweeted by @DollyParton at 10:56 AM 23 Dec 2013, Retweets: 2,638, Likes: 3,042, Replies: 478.

In other words, never underestimate someone for being, or appearing (to you), extremely feminine.  


(1) People often assume ambition means a lust for power, or they think of the kind of desire for fame that she often had.  And they tend to regard Slytherin ambition as something tainted with evil at all times.  But in reality, having an ambition is just wanting to do something and having certain standards for what you want to accomplish.  It can be private or public, it can be big or small.  When you have a goal and work towards it with determination, that’s ambition whether anyone else even knows it exists or not.  I’m not the most ambitious person in either sense, but I’m certainly not as devoid of ambition as some people would imagine.  It’s just that when I have ambitions, they’re personal and I mostly keep them to myself.  They’re not a defining element of my character the way they are for Slytherins.  But they’re not absent either.  If you’re ever confused about how your friend is a Slytherin when they don’t have cartoonish-style power ambitions, it may be that they’re an intensely goal-driven person, just not in a public way.

I was digging into the archives looking for something else and happened upon this seldom seen Dolly photo of mine from around 1999 or so.

Yes, of course I sell prints and can deliver by Christmas…

Photo © Jim Herrington

DOLLY PARTON FUCKING GETS IT. I DON’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT COUNTRY MUSIC, THIS BADASS BITCH HAS BEEN AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN SINCE SHE STARTED IN THE BIZ, IN THE 19-FUCKING-60s. WHEN HER FUCKING RECORD LABEL TOLD HER SHE COUDLN’T RELEASE A COUNTRY ALBUM, BECAUSE THEY WANTED HER TO KEEP DOING FUCKING POP MUSIC, SHE WROTE A SONG THAT WENT TO NUMBER SIX ON THE CHARTS, AND THE DUDES AT THE LABEL WERE LIKE, “OKAY FINE, FINE! YOU WIN BECAUSE YOU ARE FUCKING GOLD.” SINCE THEN SHE’S WRITTEN 3,000 FUCKING SONGS, BROKEN RECORDS WITH #1 HITS, HAS RECEIVED A SHIT-TON OF AWARDS AND HONORS, AND SHE HAS HER OWN FUCKING AMUSEMENT PARK. LET’S ALSO NOT FORGET HER INCREDIBLE ACTING CAREER WHICH INCLUDES SUCH POWERFUL FILMS AS STEEL FUCKING MAGNOLIAS (EVERYONE’S FAVORITE MOVIE), AND 9 TO 5, WHERE SHE KIDNAPS HER SEXIST, MISOGYNISTIC BOSS, WHOM EVERYBODY FUCKING HATES, AND BLACKMAILS THE SHIT OUT OF HIM. WITHOUT GIVING ANYTHING AWAY, DOLLY’S CHARACTER, DORALEE, IS REIGNED A FUCKING HERO. DOLLY PARTON: I’D LIKE TO MEET YOU, DRINK WHISKEY WITH YOU, GO TO DOLLYWOOD WITH YOU, AND GET SAGE ADVICE FROM YOU ON HOW TO BE A BADASS. YOU FUCKING GET IT.