Jill Duggar is shedding new light on her decisions to part with some of her family’s teachings — which has resulted in her cutting her once-long hair, wearing pants, and even getting her nose pierced over the past few years.
The 29-year-old participated in a candid fan Q&A with her husband Derick Dillard, 31, where the two talked about getting therapy, maintaining boundaries, and making choices that are right for them — even if Jill’s mom and dad, Michelle and Jim Bob, don’t always approve.
Jill admitted that her family is ‘not always’ supportive of what she does, but while she wants to have ‘deference’ toward them, she refuses to be ‘led by fear” and ‘controlled by what somebody else is gonna think.’
Real talk: Jill Duggar is shedding new light on her decisions to part with some of her family’s teachings in a new video Q&A with her husband Derick Dillard
Grownup: Jill has been setting her own path with Derick, separate from her family — and that involves wearing pants, piercing her nose, and cutting her hair
Rule makers: Jill’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, are incredibly strict. Jill admitted that her family is ‘not always’ supportive of her decisions
Jill’s super-strict Christian upbringing involved a lot of rules — especially for the girls. The Duggar’s modest dressing ideals mean long skirts and dresses, covered-up shoulders and decolletage, and long, curly hair for females in the family.
The kids were all homeschooled, alcohol was off-limits, and the girls generally weren’t encouraged to set career or education goals, which might conflict with being a wife and mother.
But Jill, more than any of her siblings, has been setting her own path with Derick, separate from her family.
‘Are they supportive? Not always,’ she admitted. ‘Everyone’s gonna have their opinion about different things. Some of my siblings are probably more likely to have something to say about it than others. Some are more like, “Hey, I’m happy for whatever y’all are deciding.”
‘Not all of them are cool with it but some of them are more cool with it than others,’ she added.
Though she said it’s still important to listen to the advice of people close to you, she also insisted that ‘you don’t want to be overly fearful and be led by fear.’
Healthy attitude: Though she said it’s still important to listen to the advice of people close to you, she also insisted that ‘you don’t want to be overly fearful and be led by fear’
Guess which ones are the most judgmental! She said ‘not all of’ her siblings ‘are cool with’ her choices, ‘but some of them are more cool with it than others’
‘You want to have deference but you also don’t want to be controlled by what somebody else is gonna think,’ Jill explained.
For the mother of two, seeking out professional help has made a difference.
‘Therapy’s been really helpful,’ she said.
Though they ‘haven’t changed who we are as people,’ Jill admitted that some of her views, which are still guided by her faith, have changed a little bit now that she has been able to do more research.
Several of the changes she’s made have been to her appearance. She and her sisters were all raised with very long, curly hair, but recently Jill chopped off quite a few inches.
‘My hair was so heavy and it was giving me headaches,’ she said. Because it was a ‘decent amount,’ she was also able to donate it.
She also got her nose pierced a few years ago after discussing it with Derick.
‘I liked it, we talked about it. I kind of always thought they were cute, nose piercings. But … even if I liked something before, I wouldn’t have done it because of maybe some of the backlash that I would get from people close to me, or something. I just hate confrontation so I would have avoided it,’ she said.
He approves: Jill said she always thought nose piercings were ‘cute,’ and when Derick said he was OK with it, she got one for herself
Modesty: She also started wearing pants and shorts after growing up in only skirts and dresses
Makeover time: Derick added that ‘not being closely associated with the show anymore has allowed that decision to happen more organically’ (the Duggars pictured in 2002)
‘I think growing as a person, growing closer together as a couple is helpful. So when Derick told me he was cool with me getting my nose pierced… we decided that it was cool.
‘Because of the journey that we’ve made as a couple, I was more comfortable with decisions that we make as a family. Like basically having healthy boundaries and everything, and being OK sometimes with other people not being OK is a hard thing but as long as we knew that the decisions were not wrong, they were just ones that other people might not make for themselves, then that’s, like, good for us,’ she said.
Derick added that ‘not being closely associated with the show anymore has allowed that decision to happen more organically.’
As for wearing pants, Jill said it wasn’t ‘a reactionary thing,’ but she did follow the bible’s words to ‘leave and cleave’ and that led her to ‘reevaluate things.’
‘I felt like I could be modest and wear pants,’ she said.
She and Derick aren’t even anti-tattoo, though neither has one just yet.
‘We’re not against tattoos,’ said Jill. ‘I’m a very sentimental person, so I could see myself getting a tattoo… except for that I hate needles’
Jill and Derick have two kids, Israel and Samuel, and said they would like more: ‘I don’t know that we have a number. Probably not 20 kids, but again, we’re not gonna rule anything out’
‘We’re not against tattoos,’ said Jill. ‘Biblically, I don’t think there’s something wrong with it.
‘I’m a very sentimental person, so I could see myself getting a tattoo… except for that I hate needles,’ she added.
Finally, the couple talked about the possibility of growing their family, revealing that they would like more kids but don’t know how many.
‘Yes, we would love more kids if God chooses to give us more,’ said Jill.
‘How many? I don’t know that we have a number. Probably not 20 kids, but again, we’re not gonna rule anything out. If God wants us to run an orphanage or something…’ she went on.
‘Derick’s mom was adopted, so adoption has always had a special place in our heart.’
Transparency: The could has been candid in two Q&A videos on YouTube this month
‘Growing up, the whole idea of drinking was not encouraged,’ Jill said. Even though she drinks now, she never gets drunk
This is Jill and Derick’s second Q&A video, with the two getting candid and answering fan question in another YouTube recording last week.
In the first video, Jill and Derick addressed a recent Instagram photo that showed her drinking an alcoholic piña colada.
‘We try and practice what the bible says about anything, and as far as alcohol, the scripture is pretty clear that drunkenness is absolutely sinful,’ Derick said.
‘Neither one of us has ever drank to drunkenness and don’t ever plan to. But that doesn’t mean that Jill wouldn’t have a piña colada at dinner or something.’
‘We also just want to be careful and sensitive to other people, too. You just have to know yourself and your boundaries,’ added Jill.
‘Even with our kids and stuff, eventually — obviously, they’re really young right now — but eventually, I think it’s good… for them to see, like, a healthy balance in our lives,’ she went on.
She also admitted to People that her attitudes are a departure from how she was raised.
Freedom! Jill was pictured enjoying a piña colada while out for a date night with her husband Derick Dillard earlier this month
Good for her! She confirmed that it was a ‘regular’ alcoholic version of the drink in the comments
‘Growing up, the whole idea of drinking was not encouraged,’ she told People.
‘I know my parents would not be happy with it, and I know that my siblings, some more than others, would probably have an issue with it. Other ones would probably be like, “Whatever’s good for y’all, that’s fine. Live your life.”
‘So far nobody’s said anything to us about it,’ she added.
‘We have boundaries,’ she went on. ‘In our faith, we believe like we’re not supposed to get drunk.
‘So, with drinking, it’s not like we’re just like going crazy. It’s more socially here and there, or at home, for a date or something. Our kids are pretty young right now, but I think it’s good for them to see a healthy balance.’
Jill’s healthy attitude about alcohol in moderation has been a surprise to fans, who expected her to abstain completely like the rest of her family.
For some very religious Christians — Duggars included — even wine is off-limits, and they believe that references to wine in the Bible actually mean grape juice.
In early September, she shocked social media followers when she and Derick enjoyed dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Arkansas and shared a picture showing a tasty-looking frozen drink in front of her.
Branching out: This summer, she shared a sponsored Instagram post for a modest swimwear company, modeling several of their outfits
When commenters asked what she was sipping, she told them it was a piña colada — and further confirmed that it was a ‘regular’ one, not a virgin one made without alcohol.
‘Date night with my favorite person @derickdillard,’ Jill wrote, captioning a photo of herself and Derick sitting side-by-side.
‘We’ve missed our regular date night outings during covid and have had lots of in home dates, but we were able to swap childcare with friends last night for a date!’
In the comments section, she responded to inquisitive fans asking about her drink choice, confirming that she was, in fact, having an alcoholic beverage.
Derick has hinted before that they may not mind a drink here or there. In 2018, when a Twitter user asked Derick why they didn’t drink wine, he seemed to deny it.
‘Where did you read that?’ he said. ‘I don’t think we’ve ever said that.’
Jill has ‘rebelled’ against her parents’ rules and teachings countless other ways, too, wearing pants and even shorts, cutting her once-long hair, taking relatively openly about sex (within the confines of marriage, of course), piercing her nose, and — some fans speculate — using birth control (the couple has not confirmed this; though Derick did say that his own parents used birth control).
Big boy time: Jill’s oldest son Israel started kindergarten in late August. Jill was homeschooled
Off they go! The whole family went with Israel to drop him off at the school, and all four of them donned face masks per the school’s new regulations
This summer, she shared a sponsored Instagram post for a modest swimwear company, modeling several of their outfits.
And on August 24, she dropped her oldest son, Israel, off at his first day of kindergarten in public school after she and her siblings had all been homeschooled.
The proud mom seemed thrilled to be sending her five-year-old off on an adventure she herself never got to have.
‘It’s working out pretty good. [Israel] is getting used to it,’ she said in the first video Q&A session.
On the decision to send her children to school when she herself was homeschooled, Jill said: ‘Even though I grew up homeschooled … we just talked about it, prayed about it, we felt lie this is the right timing for us. We moved right next to a really good school and in a good community, so I think it just made sense for us.
‘It was definitely both of us making that decision,’ she added, noting that they gave careful consideration to the choice and didn’t make decisions out of fear.
Unfortunately, some of this — and the couple’s refusal to film for the family’s TLC reality show anymore — has led to strained relationships with Jill’s parents.
Derick has claimed on numerous occasions that Jill’s father, Jim Bob, restricts her visits to their home — and that Jill has to ask permission to come over, especially if Jim Bob isn’t there.
Down with the tyrant! Meanwhile, Derick has been calling out Jill’s dad Jim Bob for restricting their access to the rest of the family
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
Jill even reportedly had to get permission from Jim Bob to go do her sister Jessa’s house when she gave birth to daughter Ivy last year.
Derick has had some truly scathing words for his father-in-law, who doesn’t seem to place similar restrictions on older son Josh, who admitted molesting four of his younger sisters, including Jill, as well as a fourth child when he was a teenager.
In July, he even went so far as to compare Jim Bob, 55, to Jeffrey Epstein, accusing him of placing a higher importance on money than following Jesus.
‘[Counting On is] is still under his control. And he will attack the victims if they threaten his show.
‘We were humiliated and threatened when we first tried to not film,’ he added.
‘We have to break this culture, that cares more about money and ratings than protecting the most vulnerable.
‘Jeff Epstein already showed us that if you have enough money, power, and influence, you can get away with anything. Sadly, it doesn’t stop with him. There are many more stories in this world that are not too different, existing in a culture where it can still thrive.’