Cher and Dolly Get a Pass, and It’s Not One For the Bus!

I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while, so here goes.

At what age do we start to feel old nowadays? For me it happened last year, and nothing to do with my chronological age or any physical changes that have come over me, it’s just that a new epidemic, in a very stealthy fashion, has taken the country by storm.

Never a week passes by without some female actor, presenter or well-known musician suddenly appearing on our screens looking ten years younger. I sometimes have to do a double take, as I find it hard to delve behind the frozen expression to find the lady within, one whom I often used to warm to greatly because of their enthusiastic and energetic performance. Now the acting seems wooden, as facial expressions are restricted to the mouth and chin – Nothing else moves a muscle, literally, for they are frozen into place with all manner of toxic bacteria.

How have we got to this point in our evolution? There seems to be no turning the tide either, as even those whom I thought would never partake, seem to be coerced into such madness for fear of their careers being over without it. We all know which “celebrities” are roughly the same age as ourselves (that would be 58 in my case) – Jeremy Clarkson is allowed to get grey and crinkly, whilst Carol Vorderman now looks about 20 years younger, and sports that polyurethane type of skin best suited to a child’s baby doll.

“They look really great for their age”, is a remark I often hear bandied about – Well yes, of course they do, as they’ve spent thousands of pounds nipping, tucking and freezing everything into place! I can’t help thinking some of these poor souls are going to suffer greatly in the years to come, as those syringes full of chemicals and fat, start to take their toll. There can be difficulty speaking, and a breakdown of the skin. Whoever decided a fat top lip was a good look anyway? It is the natural order of things that our bottom lip should be the predominant one, no doubt having evolved that way to best support feeding ourselves, talking and breathing.

thI3DN6OZONothing to be done but just accept that as a gender, females in the public eye are no longer allowed to grow old, which makes the rest of us who are not in the public eye, and have no intention of transforming ourselves, feel a bit shit. Just as well I’m a blogger and not a vlogger, as my 58-year-old appearance would no doubt have you faithful readers running for the hills.

But of course there are a few exceptions to my ire, and they are ladies who have made no secret of changing their appearance over the years, and who exist in the firmament of stars because they are indeed masters of human transformation – One of these is Cher and the other Dolly Parton. I can’t believe neither of these ladies have put in an appearance around here before, as I am a big fan of both.

Cher is now aged 72 and had a cameo role in the second of the Mama Mia! franchise of jukebox musicals last summer. We went to see it when on holiday, and the most hilarious scene in the entire film was when flawless “grandmother” Cher looked across the courtyard, only to catch the eye of her beau of many years previously, Fernando. This was a convoluted turn to the plotline indeed, but an excuse of course to include the song of the same name. Whilst promoting Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Cher confirmed she was working on an album that would feature cover versions of songs by the band Abba, and Dancing Queen, was released in the September of 2018. It topped the Billboard Album Sales chart (the crowd-pleasing one), making it Cher’s first ever number-one album.

Another septuagenarian who popped up on our screens recently is Dolly Parton. She was across in the UK promoting the new West End extravaganza, 9 to 5: The Musical. Here is a clip from a few years ago when she appeared in the Legends slot at Glastonbury. I don’t know what Dolly’s undergarments are like, or if it’s all cosmetically augmented, but she certainly has a perky bottom for someone of her years.

Jolene by Dolly Parton:

There is of course so much I could write about these two ladies, but for another day probably. In the meantime, as if proof were needed (no not really), here is a photo-montage of two remarkable artists who have both been around since the 1960s, but like Peter Pan, don’t seem to have aged one iota. Both freely admit to having had “absolutely everything done” when it comes to holding the years at bay, but as neither of them seem to ever take themselves too seriously, I don’t begrudge them the squillions of dollars that must have taken one bit.

As for the song Jolene, even to this day Mr WIAA winces when he hears it. It came out at just the wrong time for him, before he’d had work done to remedy his slightly discoloured teeth, which had come about because of the tablets his mum had taken for morning sickness ahead of his birth. Oh yes, kids can be cruel, and because his teeth had a “greenish” hue, his classmates’ playground taunt was Joe Green, Joe Green, Joe Green, Joe Green…. , sung along to the melody of Dolly’s famous 1976 hit. Needless to say, his schooldays weren’t “the best years of his life” but it just goes to show, sometimes a bit of “work” is needed to make life as a teen just that little bit more tolerable.

Until next time….

Jolene Lyrics
(Song by Dolly Parton)

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can

Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene

He talks about you in his sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, Jolene

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can

You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He’s the only one for me, Jolene

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him even though you can

Jolene, Jolene

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

17 thoughts on “Cher and Dolly Get a Pass, and It’s Not One For the Bus!”

  1. Agree with this 100%, Alyson, and was rather horrified by that picture of Carol. That said, there are some famous actresses who seem to grow old more gracefully, and if they do have work done it’s a hell of a lot less extreme than what Carol’s had done. Rene Russo, Jessica Lange, Annette Bening spring to mind. There do seem to be a few more roles out there for the more mature actress these days, and the best of them don’t need the plastic.

    And, of course, the plastic look isn’t solely restricted to the female mid-life crisis. Look at Simon Cowell. (Or don’t. Please don’t.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funnily enough, the thing that hit me last year as to how old I now am, was going to see Annette Bening in the film about the actress Gloria Grahame, Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool. She is the same age as myself and I’ve always really liked her, but not having seen her in anything for a while, she was looking “old” as she courageously doesn’t seem to have gone down the plastic surgery route (to any extent anyway). But, having said that, she still looked great and when she smiles, she lights up the room (bit of a corny thing to say but true). I was reassured that it’s ok to grow old gracefully as long as you remember to smile a lot and like Cher & Dolly, don’t take yourself too seriously.

      Men who have plastic surgery look ridiculous and I think we all know which Hollywood stars have taken it just that little bit too far. Mickey Rourke/Sylvester!?

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  2. Oh, well you know how I feel about all this ridiculous ‘work’ that seems to have become scarily normalised now in a bid to never show one’s true age … I am so with you on this and could rant on about it forever! Funnily enough, just this morning the subject of Marie Osmond came up in conversation and Mr SDS and I could not believe how she looks now, she’s unrecognisable, just another plastic clone same as any other plastic clone, it all looks very off the peg. As a pleasant contrast, I noticed recently due to some TV appearances Sadie Frost and Kim Wilde who both seem to be ageing very naturally and I find it a real joy to see some lovely well-earned wrinkles and other reassuring signs of comfortable, confident maturity in women of a certain age. It’s so refreshing and to my mind, makes them a million times more beautiful (interesting imperfection has always been far more attractive than bland perfection anyway, surely?!)
    When it comes to those mad artificially bloated lips too, I always think nature gives us the mouths that best suit our faces (my top lip is quite full, but would look very strange if it were thin, as the gap beneath my nose would be too long without it to fill it!). And what’s the point of having the latest lips if they’re numb all the time?! (same goes for boob jobs). I think all these procedures are going to end up making people very ill – what a strange choice to make when there are so many other unavoidable things that may do that anyway (even apart from not wanting to look like a blow-up doll, I wouldn’t want to take that risk!)
    As for ‘Jolene’ – such a great song, I used to love the Sisters of Mercy cover of it too. Just sorry to hear of Mr WIAA’s unfortunate associations. I think we can exclude a little restorative dentistry from the current cosmetic excess!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you’ve written a similar post yourself and here I am also having a bit of a pop. I think I’ve said it all already in my reply to Rol, but you can still grow old gracefully as our grandmothers did – Just take care of yourself, dress age-appropriately (but quirkily) and always wear a smile (not always easy if life is throwing you curve balls but good advice)! We have neighbours who are now in their 70s, and although definitely sporting wrinkles (they are dedicated sun-seekers) they still ski, travel globally and have all sorts of adventures. I have really noticed recently they don’t allow negativity into their lives and if I ever stopped by to update them on the situation with my mum or some other drama, they quickly extricate themselves from the conversation – Seemed harsh at the time, but now I see it’s self-preservation.

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    1. The name Joe Green is a good one whether in English or Italian (didn’t know the Italian equivalent was Giuseppe actually) – It just came along at the wrong time for the other half as this nickname he was given totally fitted into the song – As I said, kids can be cruel and it’s getting worse all the time with social media.

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    2. Had a deja vu moment earlier and realise why – Don’t know if you are a fan of the Cara Hunter DI Fawley novels but key to the plotline in her most recent one was this very fact – Joe Green/Giuseppe Verdi is one and the same. Didn’t know that before and now it’s been pointed out twice in a couple of weeks!

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  3. Two great quotes from Dolly: “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap” and “If I get lifted anymore, I’ll have a beard”. Dolly Parton has written a couple of thousand songs. There is some real talent there. It would be nice for her to work with someone who could bring that out and get rid of the gloss and cornball country stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I know those quotes and I like how she doesn’t take herself too seriously. The thing about Dolly however is that the “character” Dolly is the real one – She just wouldn’t feel like herself without all the gloss, hair and “down home” sayings. Incredible how many excellent songs she’s written over the years, and some of the best were from when she was really young. Will all the philanthropy work as well she will go down in history.

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    1. Yes plenty of them who aren’t going down the plastic route but it does feel as if they are in the minority. Another is the actress Diane Keaton whom I have loved since her days in the Woody Allen films – Have a “post pending” about her which I might now get round to sooner than later.

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    1. I don’t think we ever got that show over here but it was the next step in her very long career wasn’t it? I think she split with Sonny during that phase but hadn’t met Greg Allman yet – She’s outlived both of them and still looks nearly as young as she did back then!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Scotland’s own Strawberry Switchblade had a minor hit with a cover of Jolene in 1985. Going with the theme here, it hasn’t aged too well. Helen Mirren said last year she planned to go under the knife at some point. Broke my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Strawberry Switchblade turned up in the great documentary series about Scottish music – Rip It Up. Think they need to move on in terms of how they dress though!

      Yes, Helen Mirren was always held up as one of those older actresses who could be really “alluring” without having work done. Seems she’s fallen in with the rest of them.

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