For many years, fans of Dolly Parton have speculated over whether the country music legend had tattoos or not since she has not shared them with the public. Parton is finally speaking out on her body ink, and confirms that she does indeed have them.
“I do have some tattoos, that’s true,” Parton told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview. “But they’re tasteful. I’m not a tattoo girl.”
The Country Music Hall of Famer, 74, has been a star for six decades ever since her debut at the Grand Ole Opry at age 13. An early song of Parton’s was called ‘Dumb Blonde,’ but Parton calls herself “a smart country girl.”
The famous musician says she understands she’s a feminist icon.
“I see it as a compliment, yes. I’ve never been willing to take a back seat to anybody because I was female,” Parton explained. “I just don’t like labels. I suppose I’m a feminist if it comes to saying I’m glad to be feminine.”
Parton also acknowledges there have been a lot of outlandish rumors about her over the years.
“Oh yeah! I always laugh at them,” said Parton. “One, it shows up about every three years in the tabloids, where I’m bedridden because my boobs are so heavy that I’m crippled for life on my back. I just laugh. Well, they are heavy, but they haven’t crippled me yet.”
Parton said the rumored headlines typically read: ‘DOLLY BEDRIDDEN.’
“And then they find a picture of me, from when I was actually doing a video, you know, laying on the bed somewhere,” she continued. “And the story is that my spine is injured or whatever. I just think, ‘Oh my Lord. If they were that heavy, I’d have them changed. I’d have them lessened.'”
Dolly Parton Confirms Tattoo Rumors
During the exclusive interview, Parton did confirm the ongoing speculation that she has inked parts of her body. However, the full-length sleeve tattoos she was rumored to have are untrue.
“My tattoos are pretty, they’re artful and they usually started out to cover some scar. Not to make a big statement,” Parton said about her tattoos. “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.”
Parton said she chose to create something beautiful on her body out of an ugly experience.
“I like to make positives out of negatives,” Parton said. “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.”
When asked if Parton had any ink to represent her husband of 54 years, Carl Dean, she replied, “No, he’s tattooed on my heart.”
“Who knows, I may get some more later,” laughed Parton. “I may just have to get covered with tattoos just so everybody could be right!”
Parton has a Christmas album on the way and a new book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics releasing on Nov. 17.