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Dolly Parton Explains That She Covers Every Scar She Gets With Tattoos Of 'Flowers Or Little Butterflies'

Yup, you read that right: Dolly Parton has tattoos.

She's spoken about them on a number of occasions, but it wasn't until she appeared on Good Morning America that we got a good idea as to why Queen Dolly is covered in ink.

We never see Dolly's tattoos.

Ever notice that she's always in long sleeves?

That's to cover up two things: scars she has, and her collection of tattoos.

She's never had them photographed for the public eye, and it's rare that you can see them on red carpets.

They've only been spotted once.

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At the premiere for the film Joyful Noise in 2012, a photographer accidentally snapped an angle that caught one of Dolly's infamous tattoos.

The one on her chest is clearly a flower!

Jay Leno was the first person to reveal her tattoos.

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While appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Dolly allowed Jay to ask her about her tattoos — but not touch them.

"Yeah, I have a little tattoo. Don't start pulling my clothes down!" She told him, as he literally did just that.

She had a few small ones back then.

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"That one's an angel," she said of the one on her left arm. "I have a little butterfly and a little angel."

She's gotten a lot more since she appeared on the show.

So, what does she have?

According to actress Jennifer Saunders, who has seen the tattoos (we'll get into that in a minute), she has "beautiful angels, beautiful butterflies, and baskets of flowers in pastel colors."

Butterflies are a huge part of her life.

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"They tell stories about me getting lost in the woods, and getting in trouble chasing butterflies," she said of her work that mentions butterflies.

That is the most Dolly idea I've ever heard.

She's written songs about them.

Dolly Parton

"I wrote a song called 'Love Is Like a Butterfly,' and it became a big hit in my early years."

So, it makes sense that she would honor them by having them tattooed on her.

They cover up scars.

"I got them to cover scars or things," she said. "If I have to get a scar for any reason, I never can kind of get rid of that purple look."

Dolly has what's called Keloid scarring.

A Keloid scar occurs when there is an overgrowth of scar tissue. Unlike regular scars, the tissue from Keloid scars can grow bigger than even the original wound.

For Dolly, they also retain a purple color.

Why not embrace an opportunity when it's handed to you?

"So I thought, ‘Well, I'm going to kind of decorate these with some flowers or little butterflies or whatever.'"

Butterflies are so important to Dolly that she even has one in the logo for Dollywood.

They look exactly like you'd expect them to.

In another interview, she confirmed what Saunders described:

"I have a tendency to scar easily, and I'm so fair-skinned that I stay purple right where I've had a scar. So I started having little pastel tattoos, pastel butterflies or little things, just to cover scars."

She keeps them covered...most of the time.

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On occasion, she'll show them off to fellow celebs, like Roseanne Barr and Jennifer Saunders.

"After lots of conversation and wine, I offered to show them off," she said of an evening she spent at Morton's Restaurant in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Saunders finished the story.

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"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," she said.

Dolly decided to show them off.

"And so the restaurant was empty and she just opened her jacket and showed us, can I say, the most beautiful tattoos."

Man, I love that Jennifer Saunders and Dolly Parton just hang out.

She doesn't have a full sleeve, though.

She told Larry King that she, "splattered 'em here and there. I'm not making a — I wouldn't be a biker chick, or anything."

Biker chick or not, Dolly is still too cool for us mere mortals.