Dolly Parton’s ink might not be intended to make a statement, as Godmother of tattooed A-Lister, Miley Cyrus, says her tattoos are to cover her scars.
Jay Leno was the among the first to get the secret out of the "9 to 5" hitmaker, but she has since been outspoken about her body art, giving a full explanation to Larry King after a British comedian published a memoir that outed her from the inked closet.
"I have some tattoos that I started doing just to cover up some scarring," Parton shared in the Larry King interview. "I splattered them here and there, but I wouldn't be a biker chick or anything!"
Her tattoos cover up keloid scarring, a raised scar that occurs on the skin after an injury, surgery or other trauma to the skin. Parton's scarring left some skin discoloration, so for the singer, the groundwork was laid out for her inkspiration.
"I have a tendency to scar easily, and I'm so fair-skinned that I stay purple right where I've had a scar," Parton said. "So I started having little pastel tattoos, pastel butterflies or little things, just to cover scars."
Parton almost always covers up her tattoos, at red carpet events and the like, but some celebrities have seen them. Celebs including actors Roseanne Barr and Jennifer Saunders, have claimed to have seen Parton’s tattoos when dining at Morton's, a Los Angeles restaurant.
“After lots of conversation and wine, I offered to show them off,” Parton said.
"It was 9:30 in the evening, which meant that the restaurant was empty, because that's what happens in LA… everyone goes home, no one stays out drinking late," Saunders said. "And so the restaurant was empty and she just opened her jacket and showed us, can I say, the most beautiful tattoos."
Saunders described the tattoos as being of angels, butterflies and pastel-colored baskets of flowers.
To hear more about Parton's tattoos, and the rumors surrounding them, check out the most recent episode of The Secret History of Country Music, from The Boot's partner site, Taste of Country.