Let’s Put the Dolly Parton Glove Theory to Rest

People on TikTok are often “discovering” things that have been known for years. From “new” beauty trends to Oscar-winning movies that are suddenly “underrated,” people, places, and things simply don’t exist until some youth posts about them online. The latest pop culture “theory” making the rounds online again focuses on Dolly Parton’s nude gloves. 

A December 2022 post by TikTok user @hannahbearbraun is going viral for reigniting the “#conspiracy” that Parton wears nude gloves based on her November performance at the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. “This clip fully convinced me of the skin-colored gloves theory,” they wrote over a duet reacting to the clip, which they captioned, “We as a society can’t deny it anymore. This woman is an enigma and I love her.” They also used the hashtags #dollypartonhands and #skinsuit.

The video has been viewed 9.8 million times and received more than 640,000 likes. There’s only one thing…it’s not a theory. While it’s unclear whether or not Parton is wearing gloves in this particular clip, her use of the accessory is pretty well documented. With just one google search, @hannahbearbraun would know that this so-called conspiracy has been confirmed by Dolly Parton’s own team.

Inductee Dolly Parton performs onstage during the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022, in Los Angeles. 

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

In 2019 the singer’s creative director Steve Summers revealed Parton favors long sleeves and gloves (particularly her custom-made rhinestone-encrusted fingerless ones). “People always ask why she always wears sleeves—well, she’s 73 years old, and she doesn’t like her elbows,” he told InStyle. “[They ask] ‘What’s wrong with her hands?’ She’s 73, and she doesn’t like them! It’s a normal woman thing.” 

Parton has also discussed covering scar tissue with tattoos. “I don’t really like to make a big to-do of [the tattoos] because people make such a big damn deal over every little thing,” she said in a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair. “But most of the tattoos, when I first started, I was covering up some scars that I had, ‘cause I have a tendency to have keloid scar tissue, and I have a tendency where if I have any kind of scars anywhere, then they kind of have a purple tinge that I can never get rid of. So mine are all pastels, what few that I have, and they’re meant to cover some scars. I’m not trying to make some big, bold statement.”

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