Why Some ‘Counting On’ Fans Call Jana the ‘Cinderella Duggar’

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. To Counting On viewers, it seems the old saying rings true for Jana Duggar. The eldest daughter of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar has seen four of her younger sisters and four of her brothers (including her twin John David) walk down the aisle. But at 30, she’s still single, causing some fans to dub her the “Cinderella Duggar.” 

Jana Duggar helped raise her siblings

Jana Duggar and her family
Jana Duggar (far right) with members of her family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra)

As the oldest girl in a family with 19 children, Jana took an active role in caring for her younger siblings. She and several of her sisters, including Jill, Jessa, and Jinger, headed up “buddy teams.” Each girl was responsible for looking after some of their younger brothers and sisters. As a result, some critics think the younger kids are more closely bonded with their siblings than their parents and that Jim Bob and Michelle basically let their kids raise each other. 

Now that they are married with kids of their own, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger no longer have to take care of their siblings. But Jana is still at home, and based on what we’ve seen in Counting On episodes, she still takes an active role in caring for the littlest Duggars, the youngest of whom is 10 years old.

Do Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar really want Jana to get married?

In the conservative Duggar family, settling down and starting a family is a major goal. Many of Jim Bob and Michelle’s kids have gotten married fairly young and had multiple kids before turning 30. So it’s definitely a bit odd that Jana is still unmarried. While some fans think that’s by choice, others think there’s something more sinister going on. They believe her parents want her to stay at home so she can continue to raise her younger siblings, and that they may be expecting her to stick around and care for them as they get older.

According to this theory, Jana is basically being held prisoner by her parents, forced to cook and clean for her ungrateful relatives like the Cinderella character in the classic fairy tale. 

Jana has joked about finding her prince

RELATED: ‘Counting On’: All of the Fan Theories About Why Jana Duggar Is Still Single

Some Duggar family observers don’t buy the “Jana is trapped” theory. They think she is perfectly content to stay at home and liver her own semi-independent life. Jana herself has talked about wanting to get married. But she seems to have a sense of humor about her single status. Last year, a follower on Instagram commented that she hoped Jana would eventually find her “handsome prince.” 

“Maybe he’s riding in on a green turtle instead of a white horse,” Jana joked in response. “Still searching for Mr. Right. In the words of Michael Bublé, ‘Just haven’t met [him] yet!’”  

More recently, she posed under a sign reading “Please form a single line.” The Instagram post seemed to be a clear nod to fans’ obsession with her finding a man. 

But Jana isn’t about to get swept off her feet by just anyone. 

“There have been different guys come along and ask but they haven’t been, I don’t know, the right one,” Jana said in a 2016 episode of Counting On. “I’m not just out to get married to the first one that comes along.”