Reports of Jessa Duggar’s “modest dressing” talk cancellation allegedly due to the flak it had drawn, notwithstanding, it seems the event is scheduled to be held after all.
A listing on the Duggar Family Blog suggests the event is scheduled to take place June 24 in Middletown, Ohio. Titled “Fashionably Modest with Jessa,” the audience is likely to hear the Duggar’s take on modest dressing for women, espoused by other Quiverfull families. Dressing apart, Quiverfull families’ principles, including those pertaining to the role of women and dealing with sexual abuse, have raised eyebrows and come under intense scrutiny in the past. After news of Jessa Duggar’s speech broke last week, the event listing page went down suggesting the talk was canceled.
The Duggars are reportedly followers of the Christian organization Institute in Basic Life Principles, whose founder, Bill Gothard, had to step down from office after sexual allegations were leveled against him. The IBLP and its homeschooling program, the Advanced Training Institute, which the Duggars reportedly prescribe to, have been the bone of the contention. As reported by Gawker, the material provided by the institute appears to blame the victim for sexual abuse by asking if dressing immodestly and indecent exposure could have led to the incident. Jessa Seewald, sister Jill Dillard, and two other sisters were Josh Duggar’s molestation victims. Josh made news in 2015 after it was revealed he allegedly touched his sisters inappropriately during teenage.
“Come hear first hand why Jessa has taken the road to modest living, while being directed by God’s Word.”
Incidentally, while Jessa Duggar has been criticized in the past for lacking modesty by conservative fans, news of her talk being on track comes amidst criticism that she may have lost the mantle of being the “most fashionable” Duggar girl to younger sister Jinger.
Jinger Duggar wore pants during a recent outing with some of her family in Texas, sending fans into a tizzy. Her choice of apparel also led to speculation that the fourth Duggar girl is a rebel and wishes to break free from her family’s conservative ways. Jinger had earlier made news after she wore shorts. Marriage to former soccer star Jeremy Vuolo and a life away from Arkansas are being attributed to her wardrobe change. As for Jessa, she was chided over her appearance during the outing.
“I used to think Jessa dressed the best of all of them but ever since she started having babies there are more and more pictures of her dressing more like Jill does,” reads a comment on the Free Jinger website.
Her “Wifey” shirt also drew criticism as it was construed as indicating a woman’s role as a man’s possession. Some did not mince words, arguing that Jessa Duggar was a public face and needs to keep up appearance.
“She’s a public person, she knows she’s a public person, and she knows she will have dozens of PR pics taken when she goes out in public,” reads one post on the Facebook page “Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray.” “It’s not like those celebrities who get their picture taken on the sly when they are leaving the gym. And, Jessa loves having her picture taken and seeks it out. She’s also giving a seminar on dressing modestly, and she purports to be an expert in that area. Obviously, she’s a fashion illiterate. If she’s exhausted, she could have thrown on a cute maxi dress and people would be none the wiser.”
The event that Jessa is scheduled to speak at is restricted to women (girls) aged over nine years. Her husband, Ben, who has also made news for his views, is listed for speaking at the Evangelism Reformation Conference in Texas in June.
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