We had to put some good Dolly quotes in here somewhere, so get ready. But first, let's talk a little bit about what the eclectic singer really is known for. Is it her music? Her unusual voice? Her propensity for wigs, make-up, and a self-proclaimed "cheap" look?
Rolling Stone summed it up by calling Dolly "The Lady, the Tramp and the Queen." It's true – she playfully cultivates her image as all three and then some. In fact, the endlessly charming and funny Dolly Parton is a master performer who has a tight hold on her public image. She literally never goes out without her makeup and wig on (even when she was headed to the set of Nine to Five only to get different makeup and a different wig put on). The public has seen Dolly as a sweet-faced young country singer, a children's philanthropist, a heart-broken lover, and even an impossibly sweet brothel mistress. "9 to 5" presents Parton playing with yet another persona: Dolly as the put-upon working girl, speaking out on behalf of all the young women who are just trying to get by in the world. The message is no less interesting because Parton is herself often praised as a shrewd businesswoman.
Whatever title she gets tagged with, positive or negative, Dolly Parton usually has a clever response: "I'm not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I know that I'm not dumb. I also know I'm not blonde," she quips, adding famous one-liners like "Plastic surgeons are always making mountains out of molehills" and "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap" to her mostly successful efforts at deflecting criticism. She is often self-deprecating, but never comes off as self-pitying: "I look just like the girls next door... if you happen to live next door to an amusement park."
"9 to 5" may be a worker's lament, but it has that almost ridiculously chipper quality that Dolly Parton carries into all of her roles, on film and off. She consistently presents herself as friendly and open, telling fans and reporters that she loves them and giving out quaint life advice ("The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.") Perez Hilton called her "The Nice Diva," and he's right: even in a song about workplace fatigue, it's hard not to get sucked in by Dolly Parton's infectious charm.