Some of you may have noticed I started watching 19 Kids and Counting this year. I've always been aware of the Duggars, but I ever actually sat down and watched their show. The four oldest daughters released a book this year called Growing Up Dugger, and it was during their press tour that a couple of quotes from this article jumped out at me.
"By censoring our thoughts through the filter of God’s word, we will be able to recant any wrong thoughts or temptations that try to sneak in."
They all say that they 'have a natural physical desire toward men' and 'thank God for making us "normal."'
I'm not going to make fun of the Duggar's religion. The practices they follow are far too extreme for me, but to each is own if you're not hurting someone else. But really, because of the strict rules put on these kids, I feel sorry for them.
Here's some things I've learned about The Duggars and their show from my binge watching.
Jim Bob - Not very bright, but seems to mean well and loves his children. He goes swimming fully clothed (his daughters/wife don "modest" swimsuits, which are basically long black dresses over wet suits, and his sons actually wear wet suits.) Not him though, jeans and t shirt will do.
Michelle (J'Chelle) - A complete and total narcissist. She's not entirely happy unless the spotlight is on her, and seems to be addicted to having babies. But she only likes them when they're a baby, when they hit 6 months she passes them off to a sister-mom to be raised. She lights up when someone fawns over her for having 19 kids, and cannot let her newly engaged daughter actually announce what is a huge deal herself, she has to pipe something in first. She also displays her own wedding dress at her daughter's wedding, because what the fuck is that?
Josh - Oldest child, extremely smug, works for a hate group in Washington DC, allowed his wife to give birth on a toilet on national television.
Jana - Lead sister mom, seems sad all the time, the kids run to her when they're hurt or sick over their parents.
John-David - He likes to pull pranks like putting mothballs in sardines in newly weds' cars, so he's forever on my shit list.
Jill - Seemingly the most devout and talkative of the daughters, Jill studies to be a lay midwife, which I really like about her. (Even though her family would never allow her to go to an actual college) She's recently gotten married, and kind of acts like a 13 year old girl with a crush around her husband. He seems pretty rad though.
Jessa - Seems very aware that she's the "hottest" Duggar daughter, courts a guy that thinks it's okay to wear an "I Survived Roe vs Wade" t shirt.
Jinger - Coffee enthusiast, my favorite. She actually has an entire community with her name on it - Free Jinger, which is the go to place for Duggar snarking. (I wonder if she knows about it?)
Joseph - Slowly morphing into John-David's twin.
Josiah - My other favorite because he genuinely seems very loving. He also seemed visibly upset when his mother announced another pregnancy with Jubilee after nearly dying having Josie. The poor guy got shipped off to ALERT this year though, and from what I'm gathering, that's pretty much a fundie bootcamp.
Joy-Anna - She's probably dreading her older sisters getting married off. She's gonna be upgraded to Sister-mom status soon.
Jedidiah - Twin 1
Jeremiah - Twin 2
Jason - uhh...
James - erm....
Justin - ummmmm...
Jackson - Oh! This one's always in the talking heads with Johannah. He's adorable.
Johannah - This one's always in the talking heads with Jackon. She's adorable.
Jennifer - She seems very attached to her sister mom, Jill, and I feel bad that she just lost her.
Jordyn-Grace - The forgotten daughter due to micro premie Josie being born so close to her. She doesn't even get to celebrate her own birthday, she shares one with Josie and niece MacKenzie because they're all the same age for a week.
Josie - Very attention seeking. Wore fake pigtails as a baby because why the fuck do infants need fake hair?
In my Duggar binge watching, I've learned about their buddy system, how the four oldest girls raise the kids, cook, clean, etc, because Michelle needs to be available to submit to Jim Bob whenever he wants. The boys only do boy stuff. Gender roles, bitches! There was also early mention of "blanket training" in which they put a 6 month old baby on a blanket with a toy to play with, and spank it if it crawls off the blanket. This teaches them "control." They don't mention things like this in their show anymore for obvious reasons.
They talk about "buying used to save the difference" yet they only eat off paper plates with plastic silverware. That can't be cheap. I think they threw this one out the door in later seasons too, because you can SEE the difference in their clothes. (Unless their town got a Plato's Closet or something)
at least they stopped perming
I learned that even though Michelle and Jim Bob said they let their own kids choose boundaries when it comes to courting, they had to explain that Jill "made a mistake" about giving a full frontal hug to her boyfriend who she hadn't seen in 2 months instead of the Duggar approved "side hug." (Hand holding is only allowed after they are engaged, their first kiss is meant for their wedding day, then they jump straight to sex) Yep. These people sexualize things like hugs, hand holding, shoulders and knee caps. The girls even have a codeword - "Nike" for when they need to warn their brothers to look down because a woman isn't dressed modestly.
I learned that Michelle doesn't fully understand the point of over population.
I learned that shoes are not big in this family and "you can do anything in flip flops." (Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.) I cringed when I saw the girls hammering away at nails in flip flops when they showed up to help rebuild a house that was wrecked by a tornado. (and apparently just shilled their books when the cameras weren't rolling)
I recently did a post about hate watching TV shows, but I don't hate watch 19 Kids and Counting. I'm fucking FASCINATED by this family. I will probably watch again next season (and I'll be the first to buy a book written by one of these kids if they actually do break away)
Please tell me I'm not the only one that watches this show? Is there anyone else that will snark along with me? Or am I just a heathen for writing this post?