Music | Celebrity

We Finally Know Why Dolly Parton Only Wears Long Sleeves

Timothy Wildey - Flickr

Dolly Parton is one of the biggest artists of the last couple of decades, but over the years, her fans have come to know her as more than just a country superstar.

The singer-songwriter, theme-park mogul (yes, she owns Dollywood in Tennessee), and philanthropist may be all about the glitz and flash on stage, but unlike many celebrities of her caliber, she's an open book.

Parton never shied away from talking about her life, from her humble beginnings to her decision not to have children, the injury that nearly cost her a limb and "the affair of the heart" that led her to contemplate suicide.

While fans think they know everything about the "Jolene" singer, there's still one thing that remains quite a mystery: why does Parton always wear long sleeves?

While some speculated she was hiding an injury or surgical scars, others were convinced the country gal was covering up some big tattoos. As it turns out, they weren't all wrong.  

In a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, Parton finally confirmed what many suspected all along: She did have tattoos and scars up her sleeves.

While she refused to show them off because she doesn't like to make it a big deal, she wasn't reluctant about speaking about them.

She explained:

I don’t really like to make a big to-do of [the tattoos] because people make such a big damn deal over every little thing. But most of the tattoos, when I first started, I was covering up some scars that I had, ‘cause I have a tendency to have keloid scar tissue, and I have a tendency where if I have any kind of scars anywhere then they kind of have a purple tinge that I can never get rid of. So mine are all pastels, what few that I have, and they’re meant to cover some scars. I’m not trying to make some big, bold statement.

Aside from her husband, Carl, not many people have seen what the tattoos look like, however, rumor has it, she has her arms adorned in colorful butterflies.

For longtime fans of the Backwoods Barbie, the fact that she has butterflies inked on her skin doesn't come as a surprise. Parton has always made her love of the winged creatures known and even released a song called "Love Is A Butterfly" in 1974. She also has butterfly-inspired rides and attractions at Dollywood.

Maybe one day Parton, who is known to be full of surprises, will be comfortable enough to share her tattoos with the world. For now, we'll just have to use our imagination.

Do you remember when Parton started wearing long sleeves?

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.