Duggar Family Members: Who Will Actually Break Free?

The notion of Duggar family members “breaking free” has been a topic of discussion for quite some time inside fan circles.

But will it actually happen, and who will be the one to do it? Moreover, what does it even mean to break free in their case?

Below, THG staff writers break down who they believe is most likely to escape the cultural shackles of the famous TLC family.

Some of our selections and reasons behind them may surprise you … or in the case of one recently-married Duggar, probably not.

JILL DILLARD by Emily Trainham

When you think about which Duggar might be most likely to break free from the chains of that oppressive, creepy, molester-friendly family, Jill may not be the first person that comes to mind.

But if you just think about it for a minute, it’ll all come together.

For one, Jill’s been rebelling quite a bit against Duggar tradition lately. Like, the girl wore shorts this summer. Ones cut above the knee, even.

She’s also been photographed in an actual swimsuit instead of the traditional Duggar swimsack. She’s practically a stripper now by Jim Bob’s standards.

For two – and this is the real reason we see Jill breaking free – have you been keeping up with the shenanigans of Derick Dillard?

The way he’s going, we imagine he’ll be officially starting his own cult soon, and she’ll be too busy mindlessly supporting her husband and insisting everything is fine to remain an active member of the family. 

This transition has already started, really, since Derick got himself and Jill fired from Counting On.

Since then, they’ve appeared to spend less and less time with the rest of the Duggars, for obvious reasons.

As such, it’s easy to imagine that soon they’ll cut ties completely.

After all, bashing transgender people, begging fans for money, and gallivanting around impoverished countries in an attempt to look like decent people doesn’t leave much time for extended family!

So will Jill leave the rest of the Duggars in some inspiring, badass way?

Nah. But trust, she’s on her way out.

JOSIAH DUGGAR by Tyler Johnson

When a young man gets married, folks often talk about him “settling down.”

But when Josiah Duggar married Lauren Swanson earlier this month, it may have been the beginning of his effort to break free from the constraints that have held him down so long.

For years, Josiah has been regarded as one of the most rebellious members of the Duggar clan.

As long as he was living under Jim Bob and Michelle’s roof, however, there were limits on how much he could flout their belief system.

But for the Duggars, getting married is second only to cranking out kids in terms of milestones that mark one’s passage into adulthood.

Certain freedoms are afforded to those who have carried have taken steps toward their God-given duty to sire a small army.

That’s why Jinger Duggar is allowed to wear pants and move to a different state, while her older sister Jana is forced to do her gardening in a floor-length denim skirt.

For the most part, acts of rebellion by married Duggars have been exceedingly mild.

But those who know Josiah best say he can’t wait to prove to the world that he’s his own man.

Our own Duggar insider has called Josiah “the most likely to break out” and defy his overbearing father.

My guess is that now that Josiah has found himself a wife, it won’t be long before he begins to assert his independence.

He’ll probably start with something rather subtle, a small tattoo of his favorite Bible verse, but even that will be enough to give Jim Bob conniptions. And I’m sure it will all be incredibly fun to watch. 

JINGER VUOLO by Free Britney 

Sometimes, the most obvious answer isn’t the best. Sometimes conventional wisdom needs to be challenged and paradigms reexamined.

Not here. It’s always been Jinger and always will be.

Card-carrying members of Duggar Nation have known this for years. She’s been the family rebel since the concept was a mere pipe dream.

Sensing her independent streak, fans started an online movement, Free Jinger. (Our only regret is that there is no sister site Free Jana.)

Jinger hasn’t and will probably never throw two middle fingers in Jim Bob’s face or flaunt her freedom in ways that will disrespect him. 

But make no mistake, she is her own woman. By design or serendipity, she has taken heed – with an assist from her husband, Jeremy.

Let Jinger Be Jinger. That might as well be Jeremy’s mantra, as he’s helped her push back against Duggar norms from the day they met.

Vuolo is former pro soccer player from the Northeast, and a pastor with less stringent lifestyle views (and a Calvinist, to Jim Bob’s dismay).

Our point? The proof is in the pudding, honestly.

Since marrying him, Jinger Duggar moved out of state, waited over a year to get pregnant, and started wearing whatever she wants.

Enough said.

JASON DUGGAR by Simon Delott

If you’re only a casual Duggars fan, you might be shuffling through the different Duggar offspring in your mind, trying to remember which one is Jason.

Jason, folks, only turned 18 in April. He is not yet married.

As of early 2017, he co-owns a house with his father (though he is of course not allowed to live there, as an adult living independently might make independent choices).

He also wants to be a videographer. This is why I’m just optimistic enough to say that Jason has a shot at breaking free. 

If he’s serious about this calling, the Duggars might actually let him receive a real education in the matter.

Even if they don’t send him off to college (where he might encounter different people and new ideas, the horror!), there is reason for hope.

Just the process of learning videography in any setting aside from a tech room at a megachurch could broaden his horizons.

If he’s really passionate about this, then once he’s married, he and his obedient, Jim Bob-approved Handmaid’s Tale reenactor of a wife could move anywhere to pursue his career. 

And even if Jason focuses exclusively on Christian organizations and Christian video projects, he could still realize that there’s more to the world than the ideological prison in which Jim Bob and Michelle kept him for the first two decades of his life.

Be free, Jason. Be free.


‘Willy Wonka’ Actress Denise Nickerson Suffers Stroke, Family Fundraising

The actress who played Violet in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” recently suffered a stroke that’s left her in critical condition … and her family in dire straits. A Facebook group has been started to help support Denise Nickerson, who’s…


‘Willy Wonka’ Actress Denise Nickerson Suffers Stroke, Family Fundraising

The actress who played Violet in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” recently suffered a stroke that’s left her in critical condition … and her family in dire straits. A Facebook group has been started to help support Denise Nickerson, who’s…


Audrey Roloff Shares Candid Family Portrait, Leaves Followers AWWW-Inspired

Audrey Roloff is here to keep it real, folks.

Say what you want about the Little People, Big World cast member, but Audrey really can be counting on to pretty much always do just that.

Even when it means she takes grief for saying something truly controversial, such as feeding your baby formula is a sin.

The TLC star didn’t get nearly as scandalous with her latest Instagram post, however.

She didn’t get scandalous at all, in fact.

She just got all cute and comfortable and cozy with the two people who matter most in her life: husband Jeremy and daughter Ember.

“We woke up like this,” Audrey wrote as a caption to the photo above, adding in more detail:

“Just thought I’d keep it real and throw this photo in your feed to add some variety to all the cute 4th of July pics. We camped out on the farm last night.

“It was our first time sleeping in a tent with Ember and she was a happy camper!”

As she so often does, Roloff concluded by tossing in the following hashtags: #journeyofjerandauj #emberjean #beating50percent.

Audrey and Jeremy have both been very generous with their Ember Jean photos.

The child was born in September and the entire family needed a bit of time to adjust initially, with Audrey admitting that breastfeeding was both challenging and painful for awhille.

But she always had Jeremy’s support.

And husband and wife communicated well throughout, remaining there for each other at all times and, of course, there for their daughter as well.

Upon Ember turning nine months old, Jeremy shared a photo on Instagram and wrote the following:

I’ve realized that kids give you something to measure time with. And in measuring time, I realize how quickly it goes. Reminds me yet again of one of my favorite quotes: “how we spend our days, is of course, how we will spend our lives.”

Just a reminder to live the day how you’d like to live your life.

Pretty great stuff, right?

Audrey, meanwhile, has been extremely candid not just with first-thing-in-the-morning photos, but also about what she had learned as a mother.

“Motherhood has taught me focus less on body-image and more on being an image-bearer,” Roloff opined, for example, adding:

“I am also now capable of getting myself ready in less than 5 mintes, which is an added bonus.”

She also formerly wrote about the concept of “grace,” specifically:

“Motherhood has taught me to give myself loads of grace for all the things I see other mothers doing that make me feel less-than.”

Audrey is also aware that she’ll face judgments for her actions, especially as a public figure, but she can’t let them get to her.

“I’m learning that people will always critcize what you’re doing wrong (they might even write you letters with lists of things you should or shouldn’t be doing),” she once wrote, concluding:

“But I’m not letting that make me bitter, I’m letting it make me brave.”

Amen, Auds.

Keep sharing those pics please! We love em!


The Duggar Family: A Timeline of Endless Weddings

The Duggar family is constantly celebrating a new engagement and then, a short time after, a new wedding and marriage.

And then children. The endless, endless stream of Duggar children.

Part of that is ideology — the Duggars are diehard fundamentalists who believe in strictly controlling their children, even as adults.

That means strict chastity and closely monitored courtships, which help motivate their kids to walk down the aisle without pausing to ask themselves what they want out of life.

But this endless series of back-to-back weddings help to keep the Duggars relevant — or close enough.

Let's take a look at how many of these Duggar kids have already been married off. Who's next?

1. First we have to start with … him

Anna and josh duggar bible launce event in dc
Josh Duggar proposed to Anna on her birthday in 2008. They apparently followed all of the courtship rules, not even kissing until their wedding date.

2. Josh and Anna married, really testing the for-better-or-for-worse vow

Anna josh duggar pic
Josh and Anna got married on September 26, 2008. And, even after it became global knowledge that Josh had molested 5 young girls, including 4 of his young sisters, they remained married. Even after everyone learned that he had cheated on Anna, they remained married. She is a prisoner of the culture in which she was raised.

3. Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard

Jill duggar and derick dillard at ihop
Jill and Derick got engaged back in April of 2014.

4. Jill and Derick’s Wedding

Jill duggar wedding pic
Jill and Derick got married on June 21 of 2014. That’s, what? A two-and-a-half month engagement?

5. Next up are Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald

Kiss from ben
Jessa and Ben (seen here AFTER their marriage — what do you take her for, some sort of scarlet woman?) got engaged on August 4 of 2014. though they had been courting for longer than Jill and Derick.

6. Jessa and Ben got married

Seewald jessa and ben
Jessa and Ben’s wedding was on November 1, 2014. And Jessa still hasn’t quieted down about it.

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