Jill Duggar continues to shock fans of her conservative Christian family with her rapidly-evolving personal style. This time, she's blowing the minds of longtime Duggar watchers by showing off an ornate new tattoo. But is the Counting On star guilty of cultural appropriation?
Jill Duggar recently stunned fans by getting her nose pierced and adding jeans to her wardrobe rotation. These moves marked a drastic deviation from her family's "modern modest" style standard, and they sparked speculation that the 26-year-old mother of two is updating her look in a bid to become more relatable to the international college students she and her husband, Derick Dillard, have been ministering to. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the couple is involved with Cross Church's C3 ministry, a college outreach program targeting students in Northwest Arkansas. Jill got her tattoo during an event organized by the young people she and Derick are trying to build relationships with.
According to Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard's Facebook page, they attended a local Christmas festival over the weekend. The couple described the event as "a joint effort, put on annually by several local International student ministries," and they shared a few photos that were taken at the festival. In one of the images, Jill is showing off a henna tattoo. Her nose piercing is also visible.
"Jill had a South Asian cultural experience, getting some henna!" the photo was captioned.
"Jeans, piercings, red nail polish??? Scandalous," read one response to the photo.
"I love it," another commenter wrote.
Most responses to the Duggar daughter's henna tattoo were positive, but fans won't get to admire her body art forever. According to the Huffington Post, henna tattoos last between one and three weeks, so it might be completely faded by the time she celebrates Christmas with the rest of the Duggar clan.
Using henna to create intricate designs on the hands is an important pre-wedding ritual for Hindu brides. In some South Asian cultures, the color of the henna is of great significance. It's believed that the darker the dye, the deeper a spouse's love will be.
Henna tattoos worn for aesthetic rather than traditional purposes have become very popular among young Western women, who have seen them adorning the hands of celebrities like Rihanna and Ariana Grande. As reported by Her Culture, some critics believe that this trend is a form of cultural appropriation. However, Jill Duggar's henna tattoo was applied by a woman who was offering to share her culture with the Counting On star, so it was meant to serve a purpose other than providing her with a pretty picture to share on social media.