Despite the negativity surrounding the Duggar family, they still have a strong foothold in our collective consciousness. The media loved the Duggar family, and something tells us that they loved the media too; after all, only those who really like camera time are willing to sign up to become reality TV stars, right? Not to mention all the spin-off shows, one or two of which are still on the air. Why did this family reach such superstar status in the world of reality TV? A part of us believes it was the extreme difference between their lives and our lives. Yes, most of us have family and house rules to follow (even if we aren’t living at home anymore). But how many of us have Duggar family levels of rules? We’ve compiled the 20 most incredible ones here.
20 Skirts And Long Sleeves Are A Must
Remember in the early episodes of 19 Kids and Counting where everyone was constantly wearing long skirts and long sleeves? It wasn’t just some weird fashion preference; this was legitimately a rule that the Duggar daughters (and wives) had to follow. And pants? Forget about them. Granted, this rule is the one that we’ve seen broken most often, and it seldom has consequences.
19 And Dancing? Definitely Not Allowed
It might seem like everyone loves dancing, but the Duggars are the 19 exceptions to this rule. Cheat Sheet reminds us that the Duggars aren’t allowed to listen to secular music, and absolutely aren’t allowed to dance. Thus the scandal when Derick Dillard, Jill Duggar’s husband, was caught on video rocking out!
18 They Can’t Go Near Unmarried Mothers
Here’s one that makes us raise an eyebrow or two. According to Ranker, the Duggars have some very specific thoughts on motherhood. Ranker writes, “they wouldn’t even allow their daughter (who works as a midwife) to help a family member who was pregnant out of wedlock,” due to the “indecency” of the situation.
17 Texts Have To Be CC’d To Mom And Dad
We’re all for having a close relationship to your parents, but there’s certain lines that just shouldn’t be crossed. For instance, this text messaging rule. Ranker says that the Duggar parents want to be in the know about all their kids’ text messages, even the ones who are in their 20s! Our parents certainly wouldn’t have the patience for that.
16 Unsurprisingly, Piercings Are A No-Go
Body adornment in general is frowned upon by the Duggars, which is why it was a huge surprise when Jill started posting photos featuring her nose ring. Jill Duggar is arguably the more rebellious one of the group, so we have to admit that it seriously fits with her personality. That’s not the only rule the girls have broken, as well.
15 As Well As Tattoos (Even Henna Ones!)
Amy Duggar is also rebellious, but she went all-in this time with the rule breaking. Cheat Sheet tells us that her and her husband “chose to get inked and tattoo the phrase 'rest in the storm' on their arms.” A lovely reminder, and an accurate one. No doubt there was a storm in the Duggar family when she showed off this blatant rule breaking!
14 The Beach Is Almost Forbidden
There’s nothing better than going to the beach on a summer’s day and splashing around in the water, but the Duggar family has some very specific rules surrounding how and when they can beach it up. It’s not that the sand is forbidden; it’s the other beach-goers who may or may not be covered up appropriately which is the forbidden aspect!
13 And So Is Halloween
There’s a part of us that believes we don’t even need to explain the reasoning behind this rule. With all the barely-there costumes and pretending to be demons or witches, it’s no surprise that the Duggars refuse to observe Halloween. To be fair, it’s not necessarily a real holiday. That stepping away from commercialism is refreshing, in a way.
12 Bikini Pics Are Against The Rules
But that didn’t stop Amy Duggar from posting a bikini picture on her social media profile, much to the dismay of the rest of the Duggar clan. There’s no specific reason as to why bikinis are against the Duggar family rules, but we’re guessing it has something to do with the fact that anything more revealing than a button up shirt is frowned upon.
11 Front-Facing Hugs Aren’t Allowed
And now we’re getting into the really intense rules. Front-facing hugs (like, any normal, regular hug) are an absolute no for the Duggar daughters. Why? Ranker says that it’s because the Duggars feel that full-frontal hugging can be “pathway PDA”. Side hugs are much safer. This rule goes away after marriage, of course.
10 Neither Are Private Phone Calls Between Couples
Cheat Sheet reminds us that Jessa Duggar broke this rule, but honestly, we don’t blame her. According to the Duggars an unmarried couple aren’t allowed to have private phone conversations. Sounds like a whole lot of stress to coordinate a three-person call, especially if it’s just to ask how their day is going.
9 Even Older Kids Need A Chaperone
On top of having their text messages and phone calls monitored, courting couples can’t even go out on a date by themselves. Ranker reminds us that if it’s not Mom and Dad that are joining the date, it’s a group of siblings that tag along. Ranker quotes Jim Bob, who says that it “keeps things from going in the wrong direction."
8 Romance Novels? Nope, Not Even Twilight
It almost goes without saying that this would be off limits, but it’s still surprising. So much “secular media” is off limits, as Ranker says, which means even stories like Twilight are out of the question. Don’t even get us started on some of the internet fiction spin-offs that are out there as well.
7 Social Media Is Carefully Controlled
Most of us are pretty lenient and casual with our social media usage, but the Duggars tend to treat it as carefully as their in person interactions. According to The Hollywood Gossip, “until a Duggar is married off, they don't get their own social media accounts.” The fact that they’re all on a reality TV show does feel a little confusing though.
6 Ashley Madison (And Other Websites) Are Off-Limits
As much as they promote procreation between married couples, anything outside of the wedding vows is strictly off-limits. This is pretty typical in most monogamous relationships, but there’s another layer of beliefs that goes into it with the Duggar family. We’ll say nothing of the fact that Josh Duggar was on this website when that scandal broke.
5 Spending Money, Though That Might Have Been Out Of Need
We’ll admit that this rule might have been based more on necessity than belief. The Hollywood Gossip mentions the fact that Jim Bob and Michelle have instilled in the Duggar daughters the value of money, as well as a respect for frugal living. But hey, with 19 kids we’d probably want to do the same.
4 One-On-One Car Rides
Once again going back to that whole chaperoned dates thing, even sitting beside each other in a car is too much for unwed Duggar daughters. The Hollywood Gossip reminds us of the episode where a younger Duggar sibling had to sit between Joseph and Kendra whenever they drove anywhere. Again, this rule disappears post-engagement.
3 There’s No Room For Divorce
With all these intense dating rules one might think that divorce was par for the course. After all, how many of us would commit to someone forever without figuring out all aspects of compatibility? For the Duggars, though, divorce isn’t an option. Once the vows have been vowed, that’s it: they're together forever.
2 Hands Off Is An Obvious Rule For The Duggar Daughters
After all the specific rules have been laid out it seems a little silly to say this. However, the biggest rule the Duggar daughters have to follow is really just “hands off”. In the Duggar world courting is meant to be a serious, almost interview-like process to find a life partner. Who needs frivolous physicality getting in the way, right?
1 No Birth Control
Here’s a rule that Cheat Sheet insists several of the Duggar daughters, and even Michelle, have broken. Birth control is supposed to be a huge no in the Duggar family, but Michelle admitted to using it once upon a time. Could she have set the precedent for the Duggar daughters to take it? Some say yes!
Sources: thehollywoodgossip.com, cheatsheet.com, ranker.com