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Legends

Did Oprah Try to Surgery-Shame Dolly Parton?

“Timeless” is a word that easily fits Dolly Parton—in the literal sense, it turns out. A snippet from a 2003 interview recently resurfaced and made the rounds on the internet, proving that even the Dolly of decades past has viral potential. And in the interview, Dolly explains how her enduring image is no accident.

The clip is from the Oprah Winfrey show, and it originated on the TikTok @dollyrewind. It was shared on Twitter where it has garnered over a million views.

Oprah begins by asking, ​​“How are you defying age, Dolly? What’re you doing?”

Dolly responds through a laugh, “Oh I don’t know. I’m a cartoon, so I just look the same all the time.” Oprah then gets to her point, saying, “You’ve been open about that you’ve had some work done, some tucks and pulls and sucks.” And in a demonstration of how open she is, Dolly says without skipping a beat, “Yes I have, and I’ll have some more when I need ‘em.” Oprah asks “Really?” and Dolly concludes, “I have a funny little thing I was telling the girls, all the girls that are singing on this tribute album, a lot of them are very young. I said I was already into plastic surgery when they were still sleeping on plastic sheets.”

All in all, it’s a fairly lighthearted exchange about a touchy subject. But when it was shared on Twitter, user @keiajahhh added the caption: “i feel like oprah wanted her to be embarrassed but ms dolly said ‘nope’.” Many replies agreed with this take.

But many other fans felt that shame or embarrassment was not Oprah’s goal.

It is true that Oprah was the one who pointed out that Dolly has been open about the topic. And context is lost on this clip—not only because it is 30 seconds out of an entire interview but because it is also nearly 20 years old, where conversations about plastic surgery would have been much different.

Whatever the motive for the exchange, it just goes to show that Dolly’s open and carefree attitude remains just as appealing today as it was back then.

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