Dolly Parton is one of the country’s most beloved icons. She’s performed for over 50 years and is an accomplished country singer, songwriter, and all-around pop culture legend. She celebrated her 76th birthday in January 2022. It seems that no matter how old she gets, she is always just as well-loved as she was in her youth.
One thing that has created an air of mystery around Dolly Parton is the fact that no matter what fabulous outfit she’s wearing, she’s always sporting long sleeves. Rumors have swirled that her sleeve fixation is a means to cover up tattoos she wants to keep hidden. But for a confident powerhouse like Dolly, what kind of tattoos could make her shy away from the spotlight? What’s really hiding under those sleeves?
Rumors Spread That Dolly Parton Wears Long Sleeves To Cover Tattoos
Over the years, fans have speculated that Dolly Parton covers her arms to hide a different set of sleeves—tattoo sleeves. Much to the internet’s surprise, Parton keeps whatever’s under those sleeves so well hidden that there are actually no photos of her arms to be found.
Back in 2011, Rosanne Barr seemed to spill the beans about Parton’s secret ink on Craig Ferguson’s late-night show. “Do you know who’s totally tattooed? I shouldn’t even tell this. Dolly Parton is totally tattooed,” Barr told Ferguson. “She showed me. She’s got all these awesome tattoos all over her body—no black or blue lines, all like, pastel gorgeous bows all over everything.”
In 2014, Parton went on the Today Show and tried to set the record about her alleged tattoo sleeves straight. “I’m not really one to have tattoos, but I do have a few and they’re not where you can see them.” Still, since her sleeveless arms remained unseen, the rumors persisted.
The Truth About Why Dolly Parton Covers Her Arms
Finally, in 2017, Parton felt it was time to give the world the full story of her famously rumored tats. “I have a few little tattoos. My tattoos were before they became a fad. I have a tendency to scar easy and I’m so fair-skinned that I stay purple around where I’ve had a scar, so I started having little pastel tattoos, little butterflies, or little things to just cover scars,” she told E! News. “I don’t look like a biker chick or nothing, but if I was younger and could ride a bike, I might. All of mine are pastels. They’re just scattered here and there, where I need them, but they’re not the kind of thing to show on television usually. I can’t get naked, can I?” So, it sounds like Parton’s initial admission and Rosanne Barr’s inside scoop were both right.
Even so, this didn’t fully quench fans’ thirst for info about the country music darling. So, Dolly dished a few more deets about the tattoos to People in 2020. “I was very sick for a while and I had to wear a feeding tube. It left a little indention in my side and I didn’t like it because I’m so fair that scars turn purple on me,” Parton explained. ”I like to make positives out of negatives. I had a little beehive tattooed over it—a little yellow-and-brown beehive with a tiny little bee on top of the hive. The mouth of it is that little sinkhole.” Many fans think that this is also the reason Parton usually wears fingerless gloves or big rings to distract from her hands.
Most people have things about their bodies that bother them or remind them of less-than-great times in their lives. We love the idea of turning those insecurities into works of art. Leave it to Dolly Parton to take life’s lemons and make beautiful lemonade!