The Outside World ’19 Kids And Counting’: The Unbelievable Life Of The Duggar Family Published 4 months ago on Oct 29, 2018 By Eric Sumner The gigantic Duggar family dominated entertainment headlines between 2008 and 2015 with its successful reality show 19 Kids and Counting. Just as outlandish as it sounds, the show centers on the ultra-religious and socially conservative Duggar family, led by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Jim Bob and Michelle’s family, with their 7,000 square-foot house equipped with nine bathrooms and seven showers, became famous for their unconventional parenting methods, including barring internet use in the house and chaperoning their daughters on their… well, not exactly dates. Read on to learn about the numerous other things they don’t allow, and what they’ve been up to. 1. Nothing Above The Knee The massive Duggar family, which took over TLC between 2008 and 2015 with its show 19 Kids and Counting, is known for being ultra-religious. As devout Baptists, the Duggar parents impose ironclad rules pertaining to most aspects of their children’s lives. Those rules included a rigid dress code, the brunt of which applied to the family’s nine girls. romper.com Growing up, the girls weren’t allowed to wear skirts that went above the knee – although they usually opted for much longer dresses anyway. The family also avoided beaches and pools because the parents didn’t want their children – especially the girls – to be tempted to show skin and “defraud men.” 2. Not Big Alcohol Fans Beer is beloved in America. As such, many were outraged when Michelle Duggar left her one-pound, six-ounce child in the hospital to protest the fact that a nearby EZ Mart wished to sell beer. It was in 2009, right after the Duggar mother had her 19th child, Josie, who was born premature. TLC/YouTube Days after little Josie was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit, Michelle left her in the hospital to protest the EZ Mart’s request for a beer license. “Personally, I don’t think alcohol needs to be convenient,” she said at the time. “I think it needs to be placed in a place where adults can get to it and they will have a choice to get it. But our children should not be bombarded with that. It’s so close to home.” 3. No Drink Or Dance Perhaps it’s not so surprising that the Duggar ladies don’t indulge in adult beverages given their deeply held Christian beliefs, but did you know they’re not allowed to dance? Apparently, to the Duggar parents, dancing is a sensual and intimate act that could lead to sinning. Celebrity Insider The Duggar girls couldn’t read romance novels either. Anything that could stir up temptation to sin was frowned upon by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Indeed, even modern music is banned from the house because the Duggar parents believe it promotes premarital intimate relationships. It’s a departure from the kind of Christianity many other Baptists practice, but the Duggars are dead set on their rules. 4. Code Word Nike! The media often dwells on the stringent rules governing the conduct of the angelic Duggar girls, but the boys aren’t exactly free as birds either. And for them, laying eyes on immodestly dressed women is a big no-no. It’s so important to them that the family devised a system to make sure it doesn’t happen. Duggar Family Blog When walking around in public, the women of the Duggar family will warn their men when they spot a woman showing too much skin. They do this by calling out “Nike!” When the Duggar men hear that call, they’re not thinking about Air Jordans – they’re shielding their eyes. Think that’s unusual? Keep reading for more on the Duggars. 5. No Birth Control Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar got married at ages 19 and 17 respectively, and believe it or not, they actually used birth control in the beginning of their marriage! While they did, Michelle still got pregnant and, tragically, suffered a miscarriage. Doctors at the time attributed it to her use of birth control. Today Show Since then, the two have decided on a “no birth control” rule, and they fully expect their kids to follow the rule. Indeed, Michelle Duggar has been pregnant a whopping 12 years of her life! Of course, their faith also plays a role in adherence to the rule. They believe God should decide how many children they have, and birth control gets in the way. 6. Plastic Surgery Isn’t Their Thing These days, plastic surgery has become as common as skinny jeans – well, not quite, but you get the point. This is especially the case in Hollywood circles and among reality television stars. But you won’t find any of the lovely Duggar daughters partaking in such endeavors. Entertainment Tonight To the Duggar daughters, plastic surgery is not the way to go because, of course, God determines the looks of human beings. Surgery is an attempt to alter his design and therefore unacceptable. Before a person decides to undergo plastic surgery, the Duggars recommend “carefully and prayerfully consider what God originally gave you when He created you.” 7. No Dating The Duggars don’t date – they court. What that means is – basically – chaperoned dates. Any time a Duggar girl or guy would like to meet a person of the opposite sex that they fancy, either Jim Bob or Michelle will accompany them. This includes even a casual stroll. intouchweekly.com But what if one of the parents is unable to attend? Well, the meeting can still commence, but a chaperone is still needed, and that usually ends up being some of the siblings. Jim Bob Duggar justifies the chaperone rule because, as he says, it helps prevent the date from “going in the wrong direction.” Well, Jim Bob, yeah! Who’s going to lean in for the kiss with their dad sitting right there? 8. What’s A Side Hug? Even while courting, the Duggars impose strict rules on their children. You might by now know that any kind of physical affection – such as kissing – isn’t tolerated. But perhaps even more surprising is that chest-to-chest hugging is also forbidden until a couple is married! Only side hugs are allowed. Pinterest The purpose of the rule, according to Jessa and Jill Duggar, is to help prevent “temptation.” But if the Duggar kids aren’t allowed to kiss before marriage, how will they prevent embarrassment on their wedding day? Well, it turns out that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar once demonstrated to their kids how to properly kiss – on live television! Think that’s surprising? Keep reading. 9. Problems With PETA The Duggar’s critics can fit football stadiums. If they were to do so, PETA would be among the crowd. Now, it’s not the hardest thing in the world to anger PETA, an organization that is often criticized for using methods that alienate would-be supporters. But this time, some might argue, PETA might be right in suggesting that Jill Duggar’s husband, Derick Dillard, went too far. Hollywood Life In 2015, the Duggar in-law posted a video on his Instagram account of him sledding in the snow with his family. So what’s the problem here? Well, there was an adorable cat at the bottom of the hill and he ran right into it, causing a straight-up worldwide scandal and angering animal-lovers everywhere. 10. Trip Gone Wrong? When Jill Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, took to their family blog to announce that they were going on a prolonged missionary trip to Central America, they were met with tons of support. They even asked fans to help fund their trip, and they did. But it didn’t take too long for these fans to realize something wasn’t right – to be precise, the trip took only about two months. radaronline.com That’s when Derick and Jill returned from what was supposed to be a long-term trip. What’s more, it turns out the two were never cleared to be missionaries through their church because they never completed the required classes. Many fans felt defrauded and demanded a refund, and the Dillards complied. 11. A Patriarchal Family It’s well-known that, to the Duggars, any kind of physical intimacy before marriage is forbidden. And that alone isn’t such a radical notion among more devout Christians. But what happens between a man and a woman after marriage under Duggar house rules also raised quite a few eyebrows. USA Today The Duggar matriarch, Michelle, told The Today Show that a wife should always be available to satisfy her husband’s needs. That means always, no matter how exhausted she may be. “Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has,” she said. Outrage ensued, and some accused Michelle Duggar of promoting slavery. 12. No Halloween! A large part of what makes the Duggar family so fascinating is their willingness to exclude themselves from fun activities due to their faith. On Halloween, for example, most of America dresses up, eats candy and parties. The Duggars, on the other hand, decry “the demonic realm.” Dailymotion “Magic, sorcery, witches, spell-casting, and the like are all part of the demonic realm that God wants us to stay away from,” some of the Duggar daughters write in the book, Growing Up Duggar. Of course, the revealing costumes many adults rock every October 31st don’t add any kind of redeeming qualities to the holiday in the religious family’s eyes. 13. No Television, Either It’s understandable for devout Christians to abstain from alcohol and premarital intimacy – even kissing or frontal hugs, as strange as it might seem to the secular world. But that’s not all. In the Duggar household, television is also banned. Jezabel Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s reasoning here is, in addition to preventing their kids from spending too much time in front of a screen, it’s to block them from “worldly influences.” Considering the numerous developmental problems television and video games have been proven to cause children, who can really blame them? Yet, who can picture a life today without sports games or Game of Thrones? Keep reading for more fascinating Duggar family facts. 14. Duggar ’20? Jim Bob Duggar for president in 2020? Not quite. It may come as a surprise to some, however, that the famous family patriarch did serve in the Arkansas House of Representatives before becoming a reality star. Republican Rep. Jim Bob Duggar ran on an anti-abortion, family values platform (what a surprise) to win his state house seat. Fox News He served one term in the early 2000s, while George W. Bush was president. In fact, it seems Duggar intended to continue his political career as he challenged the Arkansas incumbent for his state senate seat in 2002. He ended up losing the Republican nomination. Perhaps he’s lucky to head one of the most famous families in America now! 15. Why The Girls Have Long Hair Let’s be real, even if the Duggar family has many more critics than it would like, viewers love watching the Duggar girls. More than that, there are hundreds of girls all over the world that would like nothing more than to have their hair. Bustle The girls actually share their hairstyle tutorial with fans. As is true for most aspects of the Duggar family, there’s a reason behind their beautiful, long hair – a religious reason. As devout Christians who take a rather fundamentalist approach to the religion, the Duggar daughters believe “a woman’s hair is her glory.” In the Duggar household, the Bible trumps all else! 16. Racist People Exist Because Of Evolution? One of the Duggar daughters, Jessa Seewald, posted a video on YouTube of her husband, Ben, having a conversation with his African-American friend about Christianity and racism. It came amid rising racial tensions in America, and Ben asked his friend, Dante Berry, how Christianity should respond to racism. Jessa Seewald/YouTube Both men agreed that the Christian religion leaves no room for racism, and that racial division comes from “the devil” and “false religion.” But then Ben Seewald introduced another element to the conversation that some found controversial. He believes, he said, that teaching evolution is also a root cause of racism. “Teaching that, like, some people are ‘more evolved?’… In Christ, we’re all one. Man looks at the outward, while God looks at the heart.” 17. Jessa Didn’t Kiss The Groom At Her Wedding It might be common knowledge by now that the 19 Kids and Counting stars, the Duggar family, don’t believe in premarital intimacy, including, of course, kissing. So it might be surprising to some that the fifth Duggar kid, Jessa, declined to kiss her groom at the altar after they were named husband and wife. tlc.com Really, like, Jessa and Ben Seewald had been waiting their entire lives to kiss someone. So why not make it happen the moment their religious beliefs allowed them to? Well, it seems they wanted to have that special moment in private, rather than in front of their nearly 1,000 guests. On second thought, that makes sense. Keep reading for some more Duggar family secrets! 18. Did Mom And Dad Duggar Wait? Have you ever found it ironic that your parents barred you from doing certain things that they did when they were your age? With all the strict rules Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar impose on their children, it’s fascinating to look back at how they behaved when they were younger. People It turns out that unlike their children, Jim Bob and Michelle didn’t wait until their marriage in 1984 to get physical. They did, in fact, kiss on the lips before their wedding. It’s unclear whether they went further than that, but they sure regret it either way. “We did not save our first kiss for our wedding day and we really regret that we didn’t,” Michelle has said. “We really should have.” 19. Big Brother If you’re a Duggar kid and you want to go courting, make sure you have a chaperone and go for it! After the date – or courtship session – you might find yourself wanting to text your crush some kind of a flirty message. Not so fast. monstersandcritics.com Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have said that, because Jessa and Ben Seeward lived hours apart before they married, they were in fact allowed to text. But does that translate into actual privacy, away from the rest of the family? Nope! Mom and dad had to be cc’d in every texting thread. So, unfortunately for Ben, there weren’t any flirty goodnight selfies involved. 20. A Gossip Story Prank When you’re a reality star, you can’t escape media scrutiny or, sometimes, becoming the butt of a joke. That includes the Duggars. No matter how hard they tried to shield their kids from what they deemed the worst parts of the world, the headlines caught up to them. soapdirt.com On April 1, 2017, a Hollywood gossip site ran the headline, “Kendra Caldwell: PREGNANT By Joseph Duggar Before Marriage?!” The gossip story backed its supposed allegation with the fact that Joseph’s then-girlfriend, Kendra Caldwell, accompanied the Duggar family on a multiple-night road trip. They also cited a fake blog post by Joseph, confessing what happened. It was later confirmed that the entire story was just a joke. 21. A Cute Wedding Tradition As much as everyone likes to focus on their fundamentalist religious rules, not everything the Duggar family does is out of the ordinary or scandalous. That’s right, it has been revealed recently that the Duggars have started a very sweet wedding tradition. intouchweekly.com Jim Bob’s mom, Grandma Duggar, gave Michelle her own wedding dress to wear for their wedding in the ’80s, and Michelle pays forward the tradition. No, that doesn’t mean all the Duggar girls share the same wedding dress. “The tradition has been that we’ve given a snippet of grandma’s and my dress to our girls…for them to use in their wedding,” she said. 22. Zika Nightmare The Duggar family’s second oldest daughter, Jill, landed herself in hot water after taking her baby to a Zika-affected area in 2016. It was a year in which the virus ravaged Central America, causing physical deformities in thousands of babies. gospelherald.com Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, took their baby Israel on a trip to El Salvador and posted a picture of the tyke alongside a Salvadorian toddler. Instagram commentators were furious at Jill Duggar, accusing her of irresponsibility toward Israel for “exposing” him to diseases in the country, and controversy ensued. Wondering how they posted that photo? The Duggars are allowed to use social media once they get engaged! 23. Married To A Soccer Player It’s not necessarily what one would expect from a modestly dressed, devout Baptist, but one of the Duggar girls is actually married to a professional soccer player. The family’s fourth daughter Jinger Duggar tied the knot with Jeremy Vuolo in 2016. People Vuolo played Major League, for the North American Soccer League and in Finland’s top soccer league. As an added bonus, Jinger’s husband has that super charismatic gene that most soccer stars seem to have. Vuolo no longer plays soccer professionally, opting to instead work as a pastor now that he is married to a Duggar. How fitting. But there’s more to his story than meets the eye! 24. A Changed Man As it turns out, Jinger Duggar’s soccer-playing husband, Jeremy Vuolo, actually has an old criminal record. Apparently, Vuolo was arrested in 2008 after grabbing a police officer’s arm in a violent manner while out partying with a friend. But that wasn’t all. intouchweekly.com According to a police report that surfaced, Vuolo was “acting belligerently” and “shouting obscenities” when the incident took place. As a result, the apparently intoxicated Duggar in-law had to pay a fine. When asked about the ordeal, he admitted that he was different as a younger man, and that meeting Jinger changed him for the better. How sweet is that? 25. The Eldest Duggar Daughter Is Single If you’re an eligible bachelor who is interested in joining the famous 19 Kids and Counting family, Jana Duggar is still single and available to be courted. While Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy have all married by now, the eldest Duggar daughter is still hanging around the house, helping to take care of her younger siblings. Pinterest This has led to all kinds of speculation and conspiracy theories as to why Jana hasn’t yet been courted. Many fans believe she is staying single in order to handle family responsibilities that should be handled by her parents. “Get out and meet someone,” one fan urged. “Let your Mom raise her kids. It is your turn.” 26. Jessa Duggar’s Controversial Views When the Duggars are criticized, it’s usually for their unorthodox methods for raising children. But they also come under fire for their anti-LGBT comments, and Jessa Duggar was at the forefront of one such controversial statement. So what exactly happened? heightline.com BuzzFeed had reported at the time that Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines attended a church in which one of the pastors conveyed disdain for homosexuality, and much of the internet was furious. A mere two weeks after that story broke, Jessa Duggar posted a video of her 1-year-old watching an episode of Fixer Upper. Was she making a statement? You decide. 27. The Internet Is Dangerous OK, so they didn’t say that. But it’s not an exaggeration to say that the Duggar daughters aren’t really fans of the internet. In their book, Growing Up With The Duggars, the daughters wrote that when a man sends a flirtatious message to a woman, there is always the possibility that he is sending similar messages to other women. romper.com With that logic, only married Duggars are allowed to have private social media accounts. Until then, only the senior Duggars handle the single family account that they all share. “When a young man who has no commitment or obligation to you, is flirting with you through texting or the likes, it’s probable that he is also flirting with many other girls in the same way—and even at the same time,” a paragraph in the book reads. 28. Parenting Trouble? When such a big family puts itself out there so publicly, they’re also risking public criticism. And by now, the Duggars have to be used to criticism – and plenty of it. When Jill Duggar shared a photo of her son, Israel, on Instagram, he was seen sitting on a blanket with none other than an open electrical outlet in the background. Dangerous! Yahoo As you can probably imagine, fans went nuts. “How could Jill be so irresponsible?” they wondered out loud. “Look out for that electrical outlet, neglectful parents,” complained one Instagram user. Maybe the Duggars should be just as careful about what they post as they are about what they consume on the web! 29. Josh Used A Dating Site For Married People There are many kinds of dating sites out there – for all sorts and tastes. One famously notorious dating site is directed only at married people. “Life is short. Have an affair,” is the company’s motto, emblazoned on its homepage. It’s supposed to be discreet, only it wasn’t when a data breach exposed thousands of users – including politicians and celebrities – to the public in 2015. kfor.com As it turns out, Josh Duggar’s name was found on the list – twice. It’s a fact that didn’t sit well with the religious community. Indeed, the father-of-four publicly apologized for being unfaithful to his wife, referring to himself as “the biggest hypocrite ever.” He even resigned from his job. 30. A Family Catfish? Some would say Josh seems to be the black sheep of the Duggar family, with several scandals tied to his name. Not only was the Duggar boy found to have used a dating site for married people, but he was questioned under oath about the scandal two years later, right after his wife, Anna, became pregnant with their fifth child. popculture.com It was reported at the time that a man named Matt McCarthy filed a lawsuit against Josh Duggar for impersonating him online. McCarthy, an L.A.-based DJ and photographer, claimed Josh stole his image and used it as his own on Ashley Madison. The lawsuit, however, has since been dropped. 31. Making Ends Meet In case you were wondering how the Duggars get by and even do well for themselves, there are actually several ventures the whole clan has undertaken. Besides for the income they get from starring in a TLC reality show and allegedly receiving the Duggar compound for free, the family busy themselves with many vocations. First things first, house flipping and real estate are both very much part of the Duggar family members’ lives, particularity the older kids including Jason and Joy-Anna. What’s more, Jim Bob runs a successful real estate business which has been in the family for a whopping five generations. Instagram Seeing that the girls don’t really work, as their belief system claims that women should be stay-at-home mothers, they have created careers for themselves by writing several books, including A Love That Multiplies, The Duggars: 20 and Counting and Growing Up Duggar. When the family aren’t writing books they also appear at speaking engagements and seminars on marriage and parenting. Once the Duggar women are married, they are also allowed to open and manage social media accounts. Some of them work as influencers and have landed endorsements with brands such as Old Navy, Promised Land Milk, Chick-Fil-A, and IHOP. 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