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2 Sep

Am-HAIR-ican Icons: Southern Fried Edition


Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel the weight of existence pressing heavily on every inch of your feeble, mortal shell? You know—those mornings where the feeling of eternal dread sets in slowly, creeping through your brain like an incurable sickness, engulfing every ounce of happiness you ever held close. Everyone has had those days—days that make you feel like there’s no possibility of even a single shred of joy left in this sad, sick world.

But fear not, friends. There is an eternal silver lining. A platinum-blonde beacon of love and kindness. A strong, undefeatable force that almost every single American has grown to know and cherish.

That’s right.


Dolly Parton’s hair.

Now, go with me here. Dolly Parton’s hair has been one of the most steadfast and true elements of American society. I was once told in secret that Ben Franklin himself wanted a silhouette of Dolly’s locks to grace the first ever American flag. He was so ahead of his time.

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At minimum, the country star’s locks should be considered a national treasure. Where would America be without Dolly’s eternal gleeful spirit to carry us through trying times?  If you can look me in the eye and tell me Dolly Parton’s hair has never helped you through an economic recession, you are a very talented liar.

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I mean, come on.  Look at her! Her hair grows around her head perfectly, like some beautiful angelic halo or an extremely well-manicured shrub.  Such form, such grace. Such shapely ringlets. Do you think she even uses product? I feel like I would have to literally sell my soul to the devil at a crossroads to achieve such frizz-free curls.

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Dolly’s hair pretty much is America, when you think about it. Or at least the physical embodiment of every beautiful force of nature America has to offer. Tall as the Rockies, long as the Mississippi.  Shinier than the sun glittering off the waters of Lake Ontario. As healthy as a San Franciscan’s colon. If you love America, you are legally obligated to also love this woman’s hair.

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The photo above is actual proof that Rumpelstiltskin himself wove Dolly Parton’s hair into gold. Have your bangs ever been so perfect that they literally started glowing? Because mine certainly have not. And I even deep condition twice a week.

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Let’s unpack this 1980’s Dolly ‘do, shall we? Her bangs are feathered. Her hair is somehow growing in literally every direction out of her head like some sort of highly enviable Chia pet. Most of it is curled so tightly it’s practically crimped, with the exception of a few pieces that are straightened??? Who crafted this look? They seriously deserve a medal and/or trophy for perfectly encapsulating an entire decade in one hairstyle.

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This Country Cowgirl look makes me want to invest every dollar I have in savings into scrunchie manufacturers. A high pony hoisted on an already perfectly coiffed head of hair. It’s like the world’s least edible cherry on top. Since when do country stars wear scrunchies? Since when do vests go over pink spandex suits? It’s not my place to question these things. Sometimes it’s mysterious and hard to understand, but Dolly’s hair always knows best.

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Even when it’s blown out it’s still better than me and everything I’ve ever done in my life. It’s weird knowing a bundle of blonde hairs give me more motivation to be a better person than 23 years of life on Earth, but I’m gonna just take it for what it’s worth. Don’t look a gift weave in the mouth, you know?

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Dolly Parton’s hair is one of the best things this country has ever produced, aside from the Doritos Locos Taco and X-Men movies. Look at it nuzzling up on a little kitten. Providing love and happiness to every tiny creature on this hellish planet. There’s never been any competition, nor will there ever be. Dolly Parton has the most iconic hair this country has ever seen, and I wish more people still spent time trying to emulate it. It just seems like an easy step towards making the world a better place.

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So go. Run, don’t walk, to your local salon, and ask for the best Dolly Parton style they’ve got to offer. Throw some flowers in it, a gold pin shaped like a butterfly, or maybe even a tiny acoustic guitar to really get the point across. Having so much inspiring hair around us again might strengthen the country- nay, the human race- as a whole. There are so many things you can do to make America a better place; vote in local government elections, volunteer at local charitable organizations, assist your elderly neighbors with lawn maintenance. Or you could just bleach your hair and stick 6” rollers in it. Up to you.

Emily Neal
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