Dolly Parton reveals significance of her pastel ‘little tattoos’

Colly Parton is dressed in black amid a light blue background at Variety and Women in Film's 2017 pre-Emmy celebration

Dolly Parton has opened up about the significance behind her “little tattoos”, sharing she has “more than one” piece of pastel body ink.

The “Jolene” singer has never revealed her tattoos in photographs but told W magazine that she has gotten the ink to cover up scarring.

“I have a few little tattoos here and there,” she explained. “Most of my tattoos came because I’m very fair, and I have a tendency to scar when I get any kind of cut.”

She added that she’s also gotten tattoos to “take the sting out” of her previous surgeries and if the “scars didn’t heal properly”. The country music icon shared that they aren’t “heavy, dark tattoos” but instead are “all pastel”.

Parton added that a couple of her tattoos include butterflies because of her lifelong love of the insect.

The “9 to 5” singer recalled how she used to “get in trouble with my mom” because her family would often find her “chasing a butterfly from one bush to another” when she was young.

“Butterflies don’t sting, they don’t bite and they are so beautiful,” Parton said. “And I just kind of related to them with my own personality. I claimed them as my little symbol.”

Dolly Parton arrives at the premiere of Netflix's "Dumplin'"

Dolly Parton arrives at the premiere of Netflix’s “Dumplin'” at the Chinese Theater on 6 December 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty/Kevin Winter)

Dolly Parton has opened up about her ink before. In an interview with People in 2020, she described her tattoos as “tasteful” before adding she isn’t a “tattoo girl”.

“My tattoos are pretty, they’re artful and they usually started out to cover some scar, not to make a big statement,” she said. “Ribbons and bows and butterflies are the things that I have.”

She described how she was “very sick for a while” and had to “wear a feeding tube” which left her with a “little indention in my side”. Parton said she didn’t like the mark and decided 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,” she explained. “The mouth of it is that little sinkhole.”

But Parton said there is one thing she hasn’t gotten tattooed – a portrait of her husband, Carl Dean. She said her husband is instead “tattooed on my heart”.

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