Though Jinger Duggar is the rebel daughter, we all know that the Duggar family lives by a strict set of rules. The code, which includes no dancing, swimsuits, or social media until you're engaged, was devised by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to keep their children pure and godly in the eyes of the Lord.
And, up until this year, the Duggars seem to have faithfully followed all of those rules as long as we've known them (except, of course, for Josh Duggar, aka the reason that some of those rules were instituted in the first place). But in the past year, something seems to have changed — and not just with Jinger.
A lot of Duggars broke their fair share of rules in 2017.
Of course, Jinger is the obvious offender. It seems she started the whole rebellious trend when she made the decision to (gasp! clutches pearls!) wear pants. The Duggar daughters have been required by their parents to wear long skirts and dresses since they were little — not only because they're modest, but because they also flaunt the girls' femininity. When Jinger first stepped out of the house in long-pants, emphasizing that she had in fact two separate legs individually clothed and not one weird super leg that tapered off into two feet, it caused quite a stir. So much that even Jessa Duggar somehow got caught in the middle of it.
But it wasn't long before Jinger wasn't just wearing pants, but also rocking shorts and pink skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts, developing a whole new sense of style. The Duggars tried to pretend that it was all okay because Jeremy Vuolo is her husband and now in charge of her rules and he said it was cool. But still, we know Jim Bob and Michelle can't be too happy about this. Especially since it seems to have sparked a whole Duggar daughter revolution.
Yep, it took a while to trickle down, but by November, Jill Duggar was spotted wearing a pair of pants, too. Jill Duggar, you guys. Jill. AKA the daughter fans on reddit described as "the last person on the planet I’d expect to be wearing pants!" And there were even sightings of a maybe-possibly-could-be Jessa wearing pants or leggings with a short skirt. We'll probably never know if it was actually her, but Jessa's broken a rule before when she admitted to having unsupervised phone calls with now-husband Ben Seewald when they were still just engaged, so who knows. Maybe girl's got a full blown wild side.
But it's more than Duggars wearing pants.
It's not all just jeans and corduroys. Jill has also been spotted rocking a nose ring, a kind of body-modification that conservative Christian families like the Duggars don't support. Rumor has it that it might be related to having more babies, and if that's the case, JB+M are probably on board. (Got to get those 100 grandchildren somehow, right?) And Jill's husband Derick Dillard posted an Instagram video of people dancing. "Our family has chosen not to dance," Jill once said on 19 Kids and Counting. And yet there Derick was, rocking out to "Despacito," a far from appropriate track.
For most people, these actions would be no big deal. But for Duggar family members, they're basically huge scandals that had fans freaking out. And it's not just the married, out-of-the-home Duggars who are itching for a little more freedom. Within the house, Josiah Duggar is also acting out. This year, he started using Instagram again, even though he's hardly engaged (at least, that we know of). Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth were also caught on camera breaking a courting rule when they touched hands (LOL). Again, the rules themselves are kind of laughable to most normal people. But for the Duggars, this is serious business. We won't even get into all of the rumors of birth control and premarital sex that have been floating around.
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Austin and I are SO thankful to announce that we are parents!! Even before we were married we prayed that God would give us children and we are so blessed that he has given us this baby! Jesus is the giver of Life! The baby has arms, legs, fingers, and toes. It has a beating heart and brain waves. The baby responds to touch and is already right- or left-handed. The baby has its own unique fingerprints, which are different from anyone else's. All organ systems are in place! Psalm 139:13-16 "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." This passage indicates that God Himself formed our physical features and that He did so with a wonderful plan for our lives. God knew us in the womb. #babyforsyth #alreadyinlovewithmybaby #blessedbeyondmeasure #Jesusanswersprayers
So do the Duggar family rules just not mean a lot anymore?
If everyone can wear pants and join Instagram and pierce their nose without any problems, what will the Duggars come to in 2018? Tasteful lob haircuts? Conservative one-piece bathing suits with board shorts? Holding hands with their fiancées without a parent or sibling chaperoning? Honestly, all bets are off. But here's what we're thinking we might actually see in the year to come.
Jinger Duggar will wear a bathing suit. Hey, as long as she's not doing to it to be sexy to a guy, it's okay, right? That's what Jeremy said in a sermon after the initial pants-debacle, after all. "It is your liberty as to whether you dress modestly with a modest pair of pants, or with a skirt, or with a T-shirt, or with a blouse. It is not your liberty, women, to wear sensual, seductive clothing that is designed to draw the attention of your brothers," he said in the spring. So that must mean you can be modest in a one-piece, right?
Jana Duggar will join social media. Or, if we're lucky, it'll turn out that she's been on Instagram all along, and her secret interior decorator account will go public. Maybe then she can become the Joanna Gaines take two she was always meant to be.
Jedidiah or Jeremiah will kiss a girl. Who wants to wait for marriage? These twins look like they could become real troublemakers. And once they're 19, they'll be a normal age in their family to start courting. That is, if they haven't already.
Look, we can't predict the future. But 2017 seems to have been the year of bucking the rules. We're just hoping for more in the next year — and that all of the Duggar kids can finally find themselves as free as Jinger Duggar seems to be. Here's to keeping our fingers crossed.