How is Dolly Parton Like a Dolly?


As I’ve noted, my column this week deals with the wondrous Dolly Parton and the descent of her orbs on Broadway. (Well, her music anyway. She’s written the score for 9 To 5, based on the Dolly/Jane/Lily movie, which is coming at ya in April.) In person, Dolly—who’s a petite creature with lots of hair and chest—looks sort of like a backwoods Barbie doll. In fact, she has a song called “Backwoods Barbie” which is on her CD and in the show! And now, I’ve learned that she has the perfect Barbie doll proportions, kinda sort of. In a touring play by Sherry Kramer called When Something Wonderful Ends, Barbie is a running theme and Dolly enters into it, chest first.

In the play, Kramer says: “If Barbie were a real person, her measurements would be 40-18-32. The closest living human with those proportions is—yes, Dolly Parton, except Dolly is a tiny little thing. Barbie, if made to scale, would be over six feet tall. But Barbie’s bizarre, impossible body is not an insult to all actual women—it’s a necessity. When Barbie is dressed, the elastic and cloth around her waist is just as thick and bulky as the elastic and cloth would be on a skirt around ours, but Barbie is one-hundredth our size. So the huge, impossible breasts balanced on the tiny waist stacked on top of a sliver of hips is not about body hatred or female form revulsion, even though it would later become, probably, a cause of it.”

I knew it! Dolly Parton’s physique is a necessity! Even as a gay man—or maybe especially as a gay man—I always felt that was the case! But did you know Toby Keith has the exact same measurements as KLAUS Barbie?