The woman who invented an owl-themed amusement park, perfected the '70s duet, and made working 9-to-5 slightly more bearable, is the closest thing to a real-life fairy godmother. (She literally sparkles.) The best evidence is Parton's relationship with her goddaughter.
In an interview with the London Evening Standard this week, Parton reminded us what it really means to be a role model for young women. It means understanding where they're coming from and having their back.
“I’ve loved her through the years and watched her grow up, and I’ve seen how smart she is and how talented she is," Parton said of Cyrus. “It’s not easy being young. It’s hard to know what to do. You’ve almost got to sacrifice your damn soul just to get anything done.”
Parton hasn't criticized Cyrus' choices, but rather served as a sounding board. “If she needs my opinion on something, I will surely give it and there have been times we’ve talked," she told the Standard. "But I would never dream of calling her and saying, ‘Well why are you doing this?’ or ‘You shouldn’t do this or that.'"
At a time when female performers from Joan Rivers to Sinéad O'Connor have attacked the 20-year-old, and at the same time benefited from the exposure, it's nice to see some nonjudgmental lady support.
A little back-history: Miley's pop, Billy Ray Cyrus, asked Dolly to take the wheel, as it were, and play godmother to his daughter after touring with her in 1992. It's paid off (and not just in the form of a guest appearance from "Aunt Dolly" on Hannah Montana back in the day — though that was cool). Despite having over five decades between them, Dolly and Miley have a good thing going, and it's only getting better. See Dolly's recent "Wrecking Ball" callout and Miley's "Jolene" tribute. Next up? “I would love to do some duets with her," said Parton.
Perhaps an all-female "Islands in the Stream"? Sorry, Kenny Rogers, but you knew this day would come. (Evening Standard)