Josh Duggar looks so different in one recent photo that some fans are convinced that he’s purposely trying to alter his appearance.
On Sunday, Anna’s Duggar’s sister Priscilla and her husband David Waller shared a family photo on their Instagram page. David and Priscilla’s three children are pictured, as are Anna and Priscilla’s parents and two of the girls’ brothers. Josh Duggar is hiding in the back of the photo with his wife, and the couple’s four children—Mackynzie, 7, Michael, 5, Marcus, 3, and Meredith, 1—are sitting on the porch steps with their grandmother. The snapshot was taken after the large group attended church.
Just after #church, we snapped a #family #picture. It's been so much fun to be #together for the past week attending @familyconfs and spending #time with @annaduggar and @duggarfam along with mom and dad Keller and Nathan and David. #familytime So #grateful for God's #grace evident in all our lives!
The photo was later shared on the Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page, and it sparked a discussion about Josh Duggar’s appearance. Fans noted that the 29-year-old used car salesman has put on weight and grown a bushy beard, and some commenters even mused that Josh is purposely changing the way he looks so he won’t be recognized when he’s out in public.
“Josh must be trying to hide behind all that facial hair and all that weight he put on,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “Sorry Josh, we still know it’s you. Just a much creepier version.”
“I guess Josh thinks the beard will help be incognito?” said another.
Josh Duggar hasn’t appeared in any of his family’s social media photos for weeks, but In Touch Weekly reports that a fan recently photographed him eating at a fast food restaurant. The outlet describes Josh as looking “heavier” and “unkempt” in the fan’s sneaky snapshot.
Forum users on the Free Jinger website are also weighing in on Josh’s weight gain, and many of them believe that it’s a sign that he’s not happy with his new post-scandal life. Josh once had the admiration of millions of 19 Kids and Counting fans, and the reality show star also had a high-profile job working for the Family Research Council. However, he lost it all after it was revealed that he had sexually molested multiple young girls, including his own sisters, as a teenager. The Daily Mail reports that Josh has been banned from appearing on his family’s current TLC series, Counting On, and now he makes a living selling used cars. Anna is currently pregnant and doesn’t work, so Josh might be feeling stressed out about his family’s financial situation. Soon he’ll have to support five children, and it’s likely that his income is a lot lower than it used to be.
“I think his physical condition very much mirrors his emotional state,” wrote one Free Jinger commenter. “He is not a happy or satisfied man.”
“But he does look bloated and unhealthy. I’ve seen nothing that would make me believe that he has anything going in his life to make him happy,” another commented. “He and Anna have changed nothing in their relationship, I’m sure– they’re just trying harder at what didn’t work in the first place.”
After confessing to being unfaithful to his wife in 2015, Josh Duggar spent a few months in a Christian rehab center. Anna and the kids lived with his parents while he was away, and a source close to the Duggar family told In Touch Weekly that Anna spent a lot of her free time working out while he was gone. Her husband’s infidelity allegedly made her feel insecure about her weight, and she convinced herself that Josh would be less likely to stray again if she changed her body for him.
“She’s been going nonstop, not only exercising but getting their house ready for him, like he’s a hero returning from war,” the source said. “It’s really sad.”
There’s no word on whether Josh spent any time exercising while he was away at rehab, but he has made an effort to get in shape before. As People reports, his battle with the bulge was filmed for the 2013 19 Kids and Counting episode “Duggar Weight Loss Challenge.” Josh decided that he needed to lose weight after seeing what he looked like on TV, and the results of a health checkup also scared him into hopping on the treadmill and putting down the potato chips. According to the Huffington Post, he was informed that he was obese and pre-diabetic.
“I’m thinking 10 years, maybe five or six more kids, you know. We can’t have a health crisis,” Anna said of her fears about her husband’s future.
According to Babble, Anna blamed herself for Josh’s health issues, pointing out that she was the one doing all the cooking. However, Josh understood that he couldn’t rely on his wife to change his unhealthy eating habits for him.
“I know I need to set an example of being healthy for my children,” he said.
Do you think Josh Duggar has put on weight because he’s unhappy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]