Dolly Parton hopes to celebrate her 75th birthday next year by appearing on the cover of Playboy
via PipiLongstockings / Flickr

National treasure Dolly Parton recently turned 74 years old and is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, she wants to celebrate her 75th birthday by appearing on the cover of Playboy magazine for the second time.

Her first appearance was in October 1978.

"I don't plan to retire. I just turned 74 and I plan to be on the cover of Playboy magazine again," she told "60 Minutes Australia." "See I did Playboy magazine years ago and I thought it'd be such a hoot if they'll go for it — I don't know if they will — if I could be on the cover again when I'm 75."


If Playboy decides to put Parton on its cover, at 75, she'd be the oldest woman to do so. Jane Seymour appeared on the cover of the iconic magazine at the age of 67 in 2018.

Who knows whether Playboy will be into the idea. The magazine has gone through some big changes since its founder Hugh Hefner died in 2017. The explosion of nude imagery online and the slow decline of the magazine industry has forced Playboy to rethink its business model.

It has also struggled to update its brand image in the new Millennium.

In 2015, the magazine stopped having nude women on the cover. In 2018, it brought the nude covers back. In 2019, it rebranded with a new team of Millennials in an attempt to stay relevant amid changing social norms surrounding the ideas of gender and sexuality.

The New York Times describes the new Playboy magazine as "a newer, woke-er, more inclusive Playboy."

What's more inclusive than featuring a 75-year-old on the cover?

via Dolly Parton.com

In 1978, Parton became the first country singer to appear on the cover of Playboy. But she did so with very specific parameters that didn't involve nudity.

"I have been asked, back in the day, but that was so totally not me. I would never do that… But that was a good article they ran in there, and it was just a fun thing to do," Parton says on her website. "That was just another way I was trying to market myself, at that time, to kinda get in the mainstream…"

She appeared in the magazine wearing the iconic bunny outfit that was a staple of the magazine.

Parton isn't afraid to show off her body in Playboy because she's still has her brassy, unflappable confidence bolstered by some help from medical professionals.

"I've had about all the nips and tucks I can have," Parton said. "The good part with me though, I have my own look. I look kind of cartoonish and cartoons don't really age that much."

Parton thinks she can still wear the bunny outfit, too. "My boobs are still the same!" she said.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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