‘Counting On’ Fans Can’t Believe How Modern Michelle Duggar Was Before She Met Jim Bob

The Duggar family was raised in a way that most people could never imagine. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, who met when they were teenagers, are Baptists, and they take their religion very seriously. The two have raised their kids with many strict rules and values, and the kids grew up extremely sheltered from the modern world.

But Michelle wasn’t always as modest as she is now. In fact, fans can’t believe the life she once lived.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Michelle and Jim Bob’s kids were raised with many rules

The Duggar family is unlike most modern American families. Michelle and Jim Bob had 19 kids after they decided they no longer believed in birth control, and each of those kids was raised with a very intense set of rules. The Duggar children could only wear certain clothing and listen to certain types of music. They did not have televisions in their home, either, and all of them have been homeschooled.

When it comes to dating, the rules only get stricter. The kids are not allowed to date; they can only court (getting to know someone with the intention of marrying them.) There can be no physical intimacy before marriage; the children are only permitted to give side hugs rather than front hugs, and they can’t hold hands until they’re engaged. 

Michelle was not raised in a religious household

Michelle’s upbringing is far different from the way she’s raising her kids. The Duggar matriarch was not raised in a very religious household. She was able to wear and do whatever she wanted, and she was a public school student who spent many years on the cheerleading team. Michelle once said, in seriousness, that she used to mow her lawn in a bikini before she found God.

When she was a teenager, Michelle met Jim Bob, who introduced her to the Bible and helped her become a born-again Christian. Had she not met Jim Bob, her life would be completely different.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar met as teenagers.

She has said she regrets the way she dressed and acted

These days, it’s hard for Michelle to believe she once dressed and acted the way she did. She has since said she has regrets about her behavior and the baggage she had as a teenager. But fans still can’t believe how modern Jim Bob’s wife once was.

“When Michelle was [worldly] sinful and actually interesting,” a Reddit user said of a photo of Michelle as a cheerleader. “She looks so normal here,” another user commented. “She’s not only showing knees, but half her thighs!” someone else wrote.

Her kids don’t seem to think they missed out

Though Michelle once lived a free life, her kids don’t seem to wish they had been raised any differently. Michelle has since said that she regrets her behavior as a young teen, and her daughters have said that they wouldn’t want to be raised any other way.

These days, the Duggar kids are all following in their parents’ footsteps. Though some are more modern than others (such as Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo) they all still dress and live very modestly.