Joy-Anna Duggar is looking a lot different these days, and some Duggar fans love her new thinner figure. But is the Counting On star feeling unhealthy pressure to slim down ahead of her wedding?
On Friday, a recent photo of 19-year-old Joy-Anna and her 7-year-old sister Josie was posted on the Duggar family’s Facebook page. It was taken at the Big Sandy Family Conference in Texas, an annual event where like-minded Christian families gather to enjoy fellowship, fun activities, and food. However, some Duggar fans suspect that Joy-Anna didn’t get to enjoy as much barbecue as her siblings. They’ve pointed out that she’s lost a lot of weight, so it’s possible that the teen is on a diet.
“I couldn’t believe that was Joy!! She lost weight!! Wow. So beautiful!!!” one Duggar Facebook follower wrote.
“I didn’t even recognize Joy until I noticed Josie,” another commented. “Wow Joy must have lost weight she looks so great.”
While many fans praised Joy-Anna Duggar’s trimmer figure, others expressed their concern that she possibly lost weight in an unhealthy way. Some fans also speculated that Joy-Anna is trying to slim down ahead of her wedding, which is something Jinger Duggar did before she and Jeremy Vuolo tied the knot. According to People, Jeremy revealed that both he and Jinger went on a pre-wedding diet. Some fans fear that the Duggar family’s religious views are to blame for the Duggar girls’ devotion to losing weight before they get married.
“She looks good but she is not a naturally thin person. She’s probably starving herself. She won’t keep the weight off. She will gain again after the wedding,” wrote one fan.
“Why it is important that the Duggar girls become underweight? It is not fair for the young ladies in the Gothard IBLP to be under so much pressure to be thin,” commented another.
The IBLP, or Institute in Basic Life Principles, is a religious organization supported by the Duggars. It’s been a major influence on the Duggar family’s beliefs about everything from how they dress to what they eat, and the Duggars often take part in IBLP events like the aforementioned Big Sandy Family Conference. As Patheos reports, Michelle Duggar spoke at one of the organization’s conferences a few years ago, and she shared a handout listing tips for a happy marriage. One of the tips was to “let God and your husband know you care about your weight.”
“God is concerned about overeating and being over-weight,” it read. “Weight control requires consistent conformity to God’s principles of living.”
However, Michelle Duggar knows all too well that obsessing about one’s weight can lead to unhealthy behavior: She suffered from an eating disorder as a teen. During an interview with People, Michelle credited her future husband with helping her battle bulimia. Every time she felt the urge to throw up, she’d call Jim Bob and talk to him instead.
“I found out that genetically I could put on weight easily, but with my activities, gymnastics and cheerleading, it was important for me not to. I would look around and compare myself to my friends, saying, ‘oh my, she’s so small,’ or ‘she has such skinny legs,'” Michelle said of her body image struggles.
Now Michelle uses Weight Watchers to maintain a healthy weight, but she wasn’t the first Duggar to enroll in the program. During the 2009 19 Kids and Counting episode “Duggars on a Diet,” she revealed that Jana had been attending Weight Watchers meetings for years. Jana was 19-years-old at the time the episode was filmed.
“Jana began doing it back years ago, but to really get to be a part of going and being a part of the weight-loss program. I think it really inspired her to really dig in and understand more about making wise choices in food,” Michelle said.
“All of us have gone through times when we’ve felt we need to lose weight,” they reveal.
“When we were younger, most of us could eat about anything we wanted to and not gain weight, but those times have changed. We’ve found that most of us older Duggars have a tendency to gain weight.”
The girls credit their mom with helping them stay slim by keeping the fridge stocked with plenty of fruits and vegetables to snack on. They also say that Michelle’s dedication to her diet is an inspiration to them.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth will most likely get married sometime in May. Do you think she’s feeling pressure to drop a few pounds so her appearance will be more pleasing to her future husband?
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]