Though we all wonder about Dolly Parton’s little secrets, the star is careful to keep some things to herself. For example, Parton has hidden her numerous tattoos with long sleeves for years, and she likely has no intention of ever revealing them publicly. But why is she so intent on hiding them? Parton may have just revealed the reason.
The world-record holder and Grammy winner recently appeared on a special International Women’s Day Episode of the Kelleigh Bannen Show on Apple Music. During her interview, Bannen asked Parton how she balances her private and public life.
“My mama told me when I was young, ‘Always keep something back for you. You can give what you’ve got to give, but don’t give it all. Always keep something for you,’” Parton explained. “I pray … that God will give me enough to share and enough to spare when it comes to my money, but also to myself. Let me share everything I can, but let me keep me.”
This could easily be a part of the reason why Parton has always hidden her tattoos. As she told Jay Leno in an interview on The Tonight Show in 1996, she has a little butterfly and a little guardian angel on her arms. And in a 2021 interview with W Magazine, she explained why: “I have a few little tattoos here and there … Most of my tattoos came because I’m very fair and I have a tendency to scar when I get any kind of cut. I’ve had surgeries for different things, and if the scars didn’t heal properly, I just gotta put tattoos to take the sting out. I don’t have the real heavy, dark tattoos. Mine are all pastel. And I have more than one!”
Given how generous Parton has been with herself and her resources, we fully support her decision to keep some things private! And we’re so grateful for her philanthropy over the years — she played a tremendous role in funding the Moderna vaccine, and the Dollywood Foundation, which provides scholarships to high schoolers in America, is still going strong.
Good for you, Dolly!