It wasn’t easy! Counting On alum Jinger Vuolo (née Duggar) opened up about growing up in front of the cameras and admitted it didn’t “click” that she was on a reality TV show until she was older.  

“Growing up in the public eye is so tough,” the mom of two, 28, explained during the “Candid: Conversations With Jonathan Youssef” podcast on Monday, September 20. “It was a challenge.” 

“You’re 10 years old and we had camera crews enter. [At] first, it was just a documentary and we had a couple of people, who would come a couple of months in a row, they would come and film our family. And so, it was very odd when that started,” she continued. “It was a challenge that I would realize the older I got.”

Although the TLC star had started filming the series very young, the religious family didn’t have a television in their home to fully understand how millions of viewers were receiving their family.

“I mean my parents told us it was a TV show and we were like, ‘What’s that?’” the Growing Up Duggar author added. “So it didn’t really make sense, or click or register until we got older.” 

Jinger made her reality TV debut on the 2008 show 16 Kids and Counting. The long-running series followed Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar as they raised their growing family with very strict conservative rules in Arkansas. The parents implemented a modest dress code that forbade the girls in the family from showing their legs in any matter and were prohibited from wearing pants

The show continued for 10 seasons and was renamed 17 Kids and Counting, 18 Kids and Counting, and then 19 Kids and Counting until the show was canceled in May 2015 after the eldest Duggar son Josh Duggar’s child molestation and cheating scandals. The show was rebranded to Counting On and it ran from December 2015 to June 2021, when it was canceled following Josh’s arrest on child pornography charges. Jinger and her husband, Jeremy Vuolo, “wholeheartedly” agreed with the network’s decision to end the franchise

‘Counting On’: Jinger Duggar Reflects on Growing Up on Reality TV 2
Courtesy of Jinger Duggar/Instagram

“We are grateful for TLC for giving us the opportunity to be on their network over the years and their kindness to the Vuolo family,” the pair wrote in a statement on Instagram that month. “It is a remarkable journey that has opened doors to traveling and experiencing the world in a way that we would have never imagined possible.”

“We wholeheartedly agree with TLC’s decision not to renew Counting On and are excited for the next chapter of our lives,” the message continued. “We look forward to continuing our creative journey in Los Angeles and seeing what the future holds.”

In May, Josh was sentenced to 151 months — roughly 12 years — behind bars after being found guilty of child pornography charges. Once released from prison Duggar faces up to 20 years of probation. He will also be prohibited from seeing his children unsupervised and will not be allowed to own a computer or to view adult pornographic content. 

Following his sentencing, In Touch previously confirmed the disgraced reality TV star’s legal team is working on his appeal. On September 9, his defense asked the court for more time to file his appeal on his nearly 12-year sentence.

“Given the length of the transcript arising out of this criminal jury trial and the complexity of the possible issues on appeal, Duggar respectfully requests an additional 21 days within which to file his opening brief,” the documents read. If granted, the former reality star’s deadline will shift from its current Monday, September 12, date to Monday, October 3.  

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at