I was thinking about Dolly Parton and gradually it dawned on me how much she has in common with Martha Stewart. Why does this combo seem so absurd? Please see the story on MSNBC.com:
- Their styles couldn’t be more different, and their stars are currently hurtling in opposite directions. Still, Dolly Parton, the sweet Southern bombshell, and Martha Stewart, the proper Yankee domestic diva, are both icons of American femininity – icons identifiable by first names that resonate with our mythic past. At the far end of middle age – Parton is 57; Stewart, 61 – they remain youthfully attractive, yet they are dipoles of American femininity.
PARTON IS ALL Southern-belle warmth, highlighted curves, makeup and wigs, and she never is seen otherwise. She plays with her garish, hyper-glamorous image and lets you know she’s in on the joke with a wink and a wiggle – and her twangy soprano always seems eager to please.
Stewart is a cool – some would say cold – domestic queen, angular and stylish but sensible and muted, always outfitted precisely, whether for replanting the herb garden or sampling early summer merlot al fresco. She speaks in a droll restrained contralto, and never seems to have considered the possibility she might disappoint someone other than herself.