Dolly Parton fans know that the singer has a number of small tattoos, which she keeps hidden, and she discussed those tattoos in a new interview with PEOPLE, telling the publication, "I do have some tattoos, that's true. [...] But they're tasteful. I'm not a tattoo girl."
Parton explained that she first began getting inked to cover scars. "My tattoos are pretty, they’re artful and they usually started out to cover some scar, not to make a big statement," she said, adding that her tattoos include her signature symbol, a butterfly. "Ribbons and bows and butterflies are the things that I have. 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."
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"I like to make positives out of negatives," she continued. "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."
The 74-year-old previously confirmed the existence of her speculated-over ink to E! News back in 2017, sharing that she began getting pastel butterflies and other small tattoos "before it became a fad."
"They’re just scattered here and there where I need ‘em, but they’re not the kind of thing to show on television," she said. "I can’t get naked, can I?" She also discussed her tattoos during the final episode of the 2019 podcast Dolly Parton's America when a group of students at the University of Tennessee who were studying Parton for a class prompted podcast host Jad Abumrad to ask the country legend about her ink.
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"I have a few tattoos on my body. They are not meant to be tattoos for the sake of tattoos," she said, explaining about her scars. "So I, when I first started gettin' a few little things done, I had a few little tattoos to cover up the scarring."
"But I'm not tattooed all over like a bike woman or anything," she continued, calling her pastel pieces "very delicate." "I have some butterflies, I have some lace and some little bows — a couple things like that," she said.