Imagine having a family fit for the largest dinner table ever sat, and then take a second to imagine being the subject of discussion among the dinner tables of countless strangers around the world; weird, right?
Much to their chagrin (or... contentment?), the Duggar family are surely familiar with a scenario similar to this one. In case a refresher course on reality TV is needed for a reminder, the Duggar family found themselves in our living rooms and at the center of our cultural conversation when the family starred in 17 Kids and Counting. The TLC reality show chronicled the Duggar family, headed by Jim Bob and Michelle, whose conservative beliefs delivered them an eventual brood of 19 children, and a whole lot of national attention!
The Duggars have faced their fair share of criticism over the last decade for their unconventional lifestyle, and here are a few common critiques.
20 The Duggars Don't Always Dig Parenthood
When the cameras are rolling, the Duggar family present themselves in such a way which makes viewers believe their close-knit bond and strong religious beliefs provide them with the tools to manage their rather giant family of 19 children.
While many aspects of the Duggars' parenting and personal beliefs have brought the fam under fire, Parents Jim Bob and Michelle are still parents who struggle!
19 Jim Bob And Michelle Police Physical Touch
"Side hugs" are usually reserved for people we don't know well, so we're sure the half-hearted moment can pass quickly. For the Duggars, side hugs are considered to be one of the most intimate forms of touch before marriage!
Jim Bob has even limited Duggar-style "alone-time" to be half a minute. Hand holding and full embraces are just some perks you should save for marriage!
18 Mom And Dad Believe In Some Lienacy
With all of the Duggars deeply held and respected rules which must be followed, the idea of Jim Bob and Michelle believing in the practice of being lenient may seem a little unheard of!
According to Jim Bob, while the Duggar daughters must "court" their significant others instead of simply dating them, they can "set their own rules, and bring them to Mom and Dad."
17 Josiah Made Sure His First Kiss Wouldn't Be A Miss
Interviews show the Duggar siblings comprehend their parents' rules regarding courtship, but their compliance doesn't mean curiosity is out of the question!
Despite the staunch "no kissing before marriage" rule, Josiah at least wanted to make sure his first lip-lock with his future bride, Lauren, was memorable!
Josiah revealed his technique to People; a smooch on his own hand with Lauren's perspective in mind.
16 Potential Partners Get The Sibling Seal Of Approval
Jim Bob and Michelle established early on during 19 Kids and Counting how much of a say they have in the potential partners for their kiddos, but they aren't the only two members of the family with an opinion!
According to Pajiba, as per an article from Today, "All of the Duggar boys have been chaperones to Ben [Seewald] and Jessa." Talk about family ties!
15 They Use 'Safe Words' Concerning Modesty
Modesty is among the best policies, according to the Duggar's! Just ask mama Michelle.
The Duggar daughters aren't bothered when it comes to the constantly looming presence of modesty, especially when it comes to their appearance. As a way of pointing out examples of impurity, the Washington Post reports the family "shouts Nike!, in order to get [the kids] to stare at their shoes."
14 The Fam Believes In The 'Buddy System'
Watching the Duggars for any length of time may make you wonder how in the world it's possible for each Duggar kiddo to be accounted for and receive much-needed individual attention! The answer lies within the older siblings.
In an interview, Jana Duggar revealed the oldest gals watch over their younger siblings with an assigned "little buddy" designed to keep tabs on their needs!
13 Homeschooling Was A Home-Run
The Duggar family have frequently emphasized the importance of individual attention, and one of their most important methods will serve the Duggar kiddos in other positive ways, as well!
Each member of the family received homeschooling as opposed to attending traditional school. Jinger considered homeschooling a "blessing." She added, "When you can get along with your family, you can get along with just about anybody!"
12 Networks Said 'No More'
The Duggars aren't strangers to the world of celebrity gossip, and the nature of a few controversies may make the family hope they'll never find their way to the airwaves.
Even though some Duggar troubles may not air on television, chances are their coverage in the media won't be stopped. According to the Huffington Post, "Seven advertisers have no interest in being associated" with them.
11 Duggar Girls Walk Down The Aisle In No Time
Marriage is known to be a "sacred institution," and the Duggar ladies are definitely firm believers in tying the knot!
As of this writing, eight of the Duggar siblings have gotten married. If this number seems extreme, it's been calculated the married members of the family achieved their personal milestones in a little over a year, including not only marriage but inklings of baby news!
10 The Show Was On The Brink Of Cancellation
While the show was eventually canceled in 2016, 19 Kids and Counting's status on air wasn't always secure.
While the Duggars are notoriously outspoken about their beliefs, one of Michelle Duggar's beliefs brought the whole family into the spotlight and the show into cancellation territory; it wasn't.
According to Entertainment Weekly, she "spoke out against anti-discrimination legislation" which sparked an outcry from the public.
9 Jim Bob Was Extremely Fond Of Derick Dillard
Despite Jim Bob's well-known reluctance for his daughters to find "the one," he made a pretty strong exception for Jill when she started courting Derick Dillard.
His intuition led him to introduce Jill to Derick, whom he knew well after the two became "prayer partners." Derick and Jim Bob prayed on the phone on a frequent basis while he was away doing humanitarian work.
8 Jill Rose Above 'Mommy-Shamers'
When you're a mother in the public eye, you're bound to face criticism when your child comes into the picture! Jill Dillard experienced another type of criticism than she was used to when internet critics called her out for mishandling her son's car seat.
For kiddos of a certain age, car seats should face backward instead of a traditional forward fashion. Social media went ablaze!
7 Jill Is An Aspiring Chief
Jill Dillard's social media presence shows her love for cooking. She frequently posts recipes and photos of her in the kitchen with Derrick.
One tidbit she may not want viewers to know? Her cooking hasn't been well received by the public! According to In Touch, fans weren't too pleased with her stuffed mushroom recipe. Practice makes perfect, though!
6 Jim Bob And Michelle Read Their Daughters' Texts
Back in the old school days of the landline phone, it could feel so embarrassing if your parents listened in on your conversations. For the Duggar girls, this uncomfortable moment still could happen, but in the ultra-modern form of texting!
Jim Bob and Michelle have total access to their daughters' text messages, so they're aware of every character and nature of the conversation.
5 No Secular Sounds For The Duggars
It's a pretty safe assumption you'll never see the Duggar daughters watching the "Express Yourself" video by Madonna!
If media has no affiliation with the Duggars' faith, they're not indulging. According to E!, the Duggar family's soundtrack is limited to "gospel," and the girls believe modern day tunes promote immoral topics, not in line with their personal beliefs.
4 Joseph's Proposal Story Was Close To Home
By now, it's no surprise family is high on the Duggars' priority list, and what better to make this known to the world than popping the question to your girlfriend at the wedding of your sibling?
Joseph Duggar proposed to his girl, Kendra, in an extremely memorable fashion: during Joy-Anna's 2017 nuptials! He revealed to People, "I was definitely nervous going into it..." How romantic!
3 Long Hair Has Lots Of Meaning For The Girls
A woman's hair is her personal fashion statement as she chooses to experiment with different styles and moods! For the Duggar daughters, hair plays a role of faith in their lives.
According to E!, the girls' perspective on hair length comes from a bible verse which states, "A woman's hair is her glory," although it denounces long hair as a fashion choice for men.
2 Ben Was The First Pick For Jessa
As we know, the Duggar-approved concept of courting can be complex at times. Not only do these future partners have to delight the Duggar of their choice, Jim Bob and Michelle are also extremely involved!
One future Duggar marriage wasn't so difficult to determine; Jessa's eventual marriage to Ben Seewald was an obvious choice! According to People, Ben was "the first to make the cut."
1 Some Courtships Don't End In Wedded Bliss
If we were to create a "Duggar spouse bracket," most of the options would be winners; the majority of Duggar courtships have resulted in a trip down the aisle into wedded bliss!
Although Josiah Duggar has found his forever love with Lauren Swanson, he was previously in a courtship with Marjorie Jackson, which ended just as fast as it began. No hard feelings, though!
References: People, YouTube, Today, Pajiba, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, In Touch, E!