Jill Duggar — who now goes by her married name, Jill Dillard, on social media — said she bucked her conservative Christian family’s tradition of not allowing girls and women to wear pants after she and her husband, Derick Dillard, discussed things and grew as a couple.
The 29-year-old and her siblings were thrust into the public eye thanks to the TLC network, which has featured the comings and goings of her Arkansas family for several years now on shows like 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On. The devoutly Christian clan does not believe in birth control, forbids “dating” in the traditional sense, and imposes strict rules on the kids and adult children in the family.
One of those rules is that women and girls do not wear pants, do not have nose piercings, and wear their hair long.
In an interview shared on YouTube, which can be seen below, Jill said she used to honor those traditions when she was still at home. But, as a married woman, she began to rethink things.
“As we were growing as a couple… [It was] definitely not a reactionary thing… We were just re-evaluating and, for me, I felt like I could be modest and wear pants,” she said, noting the first place she wore pants outside of the house was to an amusement park.
Of course, Jill hasn’t just taken up wearing pants in defiance of her strict upbringing. She also cut her hair and got a nose ring.
She had the same thing to say about all three decisions, noting the Bible lays out things that are specific dos and don’ts, and there are other things that she described as “optional.”
“The decisions were not wrong, they could just be ones that other people might not make for themselves, and that’s, like, good for us,” she said.
She also was clear that she wrestled with how unspecified other people would react to her decisions, and she had to make peace with the fact some people were not going to be OK with what she did.
Derick noted no longer being closely associated with “the show” has given them more room to make choices about their personal lives.
As for her coif, Jill said she was in physical pain and heaving headaches because it was so heavy. Further, she said her locks were in demand with charities that accept donated hair because she never had it dyed.
The nose ring, she said, came about because one day she stated out loud how she thought they were cute, and Derick agreed, so she decided to go through with it.
Jill and Derick were also asked if their journey away from her parents’ strict upbringing would ever include a tattoo. Derick seemingly joked he would get a bald eagle tattooed across his face some day. Jill said they are not against tattoos, but since they’re permanent, it’s a decision that needs to be considered carefully. She did concede she could conceivably get one, but she’s afraid of needles.