On Counting On and on social media, the Duggars look like a picture-perfect family. The teenagers don't talk back, the daughters don't run away with some dude in a leather jacket, and all the kids follow the rules like perfect little angels. In fact, their lifestyle has garnered lots of attention from fans who want to raise families just like the Duggars and be just like them — which is a scary thought. After learning more about the famous family, from their strict rules to their messed-up ministry, we're starting to think they're the last family anyone should emulate.
After Josh's molestation and infidelity scandals got the family's original show, 19 Kids and Counting, booted from TLC's lineup, the family has been working overtime to reinstate their squeaky clean image. The Duggars did several TV interviews where they brushed off the scandal and tried to make it look like the whole thing wasn't a big deal. "He was still a kid, you know, and he was still a juvenile. He wasn't an adult," Jim Bob said during a FOX News interview. "[Josh] had gone in and just basically touched them over their clothes while they were sleeping... [There] were a couple incidents where he touched them under their clothes, but it was, like, a few seconds." Just a few seconds? Well that's a relief [sarcasm]. The Duggars went on to blame the media, not Josh, for victimizing their daughters and then refused to accept Josh's own behavior as predatory while the disgraced brother stayed hidden in faith-based rehabs.
Two years later and the Duggars have successfully scrubbed their image clean and are now directing the attention to their eldest daughters, who are all getting married and having children of their own. But fans who admire the Duggars should be wary of letting the family's image-conscious branding distort the harsh reality of the famous family. Below, 11 reasons why the Duggars aren't as perfect as they want you to believe.
When In Touch Weekly first broke the story that Josh had molested his sisters, fans were shocked. However, many psychologists at the time said that, because of how the Duggar children were raised, sexual abuse wasn't a surprise. "The problem with homeschooling is that your kids lack exposure to norms of behavior that they might otherwise learn outside of their family," clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg wrote. "In this case, Josh Duggar the eldest son and reported molester, may have learned about sexually appropriate behavior if he had socialized with other young teens outside of his home. Clearly, his education about this behavior was lacking in the home in which he was raised."