Amy Duggar King, once the sole ‘rebel’ of the Christian reality TV family, has welcomed a new rebel into the fold in the form of her younger cousin Jill Duggar.
The 33-year-old seems to have grown closer than ever with Jill, 29, since the former Counting On star has become increasingly ostracized by the rest of her family.
But Amy is lending more than support: She also seems to be throwing shade at Jill’s parents and the uber-strict way they raised her, sharing a new Instagram post this week in which she remarked on how much happier Jill has been looking lately as she builds her own life and follows her own rules.
Shady lady! Amy Duggar King appears to have thrown some indirect criticism at her extended family on Instagram this week while sharing a photo with her cousin Jill
Taste of freedom: She wrote that Jill ‘smiles just a bit brighter these days,’ which people have taken as an observation that she is happier since getting some distance from her parents
Jill recently stopped by Amy’s Arkansas clothing store 3130 Clothing, where she did some light shopping with some help from her cousin.
The store was empty on the occasion, giving Jill and Amy a chance to walk around without masks and pick out clothes for Jill to take home.
Jill also got to spend time with her aunt Deanna and Amy’s son Dax.
Before leaving, Jill posed for a photo with Amy, with the two smiling wide for the camera.
‘You smile just a bit brighter these days! So proud of you hippie chick!’ Amy wrote.
Amy had long been considered the ‘rebel’ of the very conservative Christian family. While her uncle Jim Bob and aunt Michelle had incredibly strict rules for Jill and her siblings — governing their dating, their clothes, and how they spent their time — Amy grew up more secular.
She even admitted to having sex before marriage, while her cousins all save their first kiss for their wedding day.
Someone to lean on: Jill stopped by Amy’s store to shop and the pair appeared to have a great time. The cousins seem to be growing closer as Jill sees other family members less
They see it, too! Commenters agreed that Jill looks happier, and are glad to see she has Amy to turn to
But in recent years, Jill has been breaking away from her parents’ teachings. Still a conservative Christian, she no longer limits her wardrobe to skirts and dresses, and will wear pants and even shorts.
She’s gotten a nose ring, talks somewhat openly about her sex life with her husband, listens to non-gospel music and lets her kids dance, and even planned to send her oldest son, Israel, to public school before the pandemic hit.
But while Jill certainly appears happy with the changes, they appear to have driven a wedge between her and her parents.
Her husband Derick has said on numerous occasions that Jill’s dad Jim Bob doesn’t allow them at the family’s house when he is not there, and Jill needed to seek his permission before she was able to assist Jessa in her home birth last year.
‘Because our visitation to the Duggar house has been restricted and that is where they and their spouses hang out, we have not been able to see other family as much as we would like, so that is difficult,’ Derick recently told The Sun.
‘We do try to invite brothers and sisters-in-law over as much as they can come.
Her own way: Jill grew up in an uber-strict household but seems to be departing from some of her parents teachings since marrying Derick Dillard
No shame: She wears previously off-limits clothes and talks about sex (within marriage, of course) — but the changes seem to have driven a wedge between her and her parents
Enabler: Jim Bob reportedly restricts Jill’s access to the family home, and she is unwelcome at some family gatherings — but Jill’s abuser, sex pest Josh, is inexplicably welcome
‘We hope and pray God would restore relationships where there is brokenness. But, at the same time, we recognize that only God can change people’s hearts and bring healing,’ he added, noting that he is working on a tell-all book.
But despite the strained relationship with her parents, Jill appears to be thriving in a more lax environment — and one that doesn’t include her childhood abuser, big brother Josh.
Her cousin Amy — and fans — have taken notice.
Several commented on Amy’s post, with one writing: ‘So proud of her and the hard work she is putting in to be authentic to herself and her husband and boys!’
‘She looks so much happier,’ observed another.
‘It seems like she is doing well making a lot of crucial changes away from that life, it’s good to see,’ said yet another.
On Reddit, commenters wondered at how Amy’s ‘post is clearly throwing shade at the Duggars,’ with several pointing out that Jill’s big sister Jana liked the post — seemingly missing the veiled criticism.
New little one: Amy and her son Dillon King welcomed their first child in October
Chill: Amy was previously the only ‘rebel’ of the family and had a much more secular upbringing
‘Her smile is finally reaching her eyes!’ wrote another. ‘Unlike a meek Michelle smile, this one is real and we’re all here for it! Go Jill! Screw your toxic family!’
For years, Amy had kept mostly mum about her famous extended family, with many speculating that she has signed an NDA to keep her quiet.
Lately, however, she seems to be skirting around those limitations, commenting publicly — if indirectly — on the other Duggars.
On June 29, Jinger, who lives in LA with her husband Jeremy Vuolo, shared an Instagram post advising fans to pray away anxiety.
‘There’s so much going on around us that can make us worry. Anxiety could be a serious struggle every day if we let it be! But believe it or not, the Bible has a lot to say about it,’ she wrote.
‘One of my favorite Scriptures is Philippians 4 where we are told to “rejoice always” and “never be anxious.”
Throwing punches: Amy also took a veiled dig at her cousin Jinger last week
It’s that easy! Jinger, who lives in LA with her husband Jeremy Vuolo, shared an Instagram post advising fans to pray away anxiety
Not so rebellious: While Jinger has dyed her hair and wears pants these days, her values still remain mostly traditional
Amy commented on another post about Jinger’s remarks, arguing that mental health is serious business and you advising that people ‘pray away’ anxiety isn’t OK
‘The obvious question is, how? And the answer is thankful prayer: “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”’
Jinger’s quotes were later shared by a celebrity gossip account, where Amy weighed in in the comments.
‘I am a Christian and anxiety isn’t something you can “pray away,”‘ she wrote. ‘Sure, prayer does help me when I feel extremely overwhelmed, but it’s OK to seek counseling and take medication.
‘It’s OK to not be OK. For some it’s truly a daily battle, mental health is serious and depression can seriously cripple people.
‘Taking the proper steps to help you cope and hopefully overcome your anxiety is no easy task. Nobody should be ashamed for it either.’