Quoting Quiverfull: Did The Duggar Modesty-Scale Change?

Quoting Quiverfull: Did The Duggar Modesty-Scale Change? October 3, 2014
Old school Duggars with no makeup and lots of cloth on.
Old school Duggars with no makeup and lots of cloth on.

If memory serves me correctly in the early days of the Duggar family television specials makeup was distinctly frowned up, but if the US Weekly article is anything to go by that has changed as well as many other things. Remember when Michelle and all the girls wore those loose sack-like jumpers with huge ‘countenance-enhancing’ collars? But then again, many Evangelical women I knew (including myself) once dressed like that. It was the uniform of the Good Christian Woman(tm) at one time.

Below is a list of Duggar rules on dress from US Weekly Magazine Issue 1025 October 6, 2014 – The Duggars Rules of Romance

Dress Code: Duggars believe bodies are ‘special gifts’ to be shared only with husbands

LONG LOCKS: The Bible calls a woman’s hair her ‘glory.’ Duggar Girls style and spray daily.

Still no makeup but a huge amount of Aquanet
Still no makeup but a huge amount of Aquanet

No mention of the fact that ATI/IBLP Bill Gothard is where they got their long stylized curls hair styles. Yes, it’s the preferred hair style of the Grabby Hands one.

MAKEUP: Cosmetics ‘honor the Lord,’ they say, by enhancing what He gave them.

Most of the fundamentalist evangelicals out there seem to frown on makeup. Trust the Duggars to make it ‘Godly.

HIGH NECKLINE: Shoulders and cleavage should not be shown: they may arouse men.

Again with the men are beasts that cannot be trusted to control their libidos is so insulting to men in general.

The Duggar daughters swimming in a sea of cotton fabrics.
The Duggar daughters swimming in a sea of cotton fabrics.

MIDISKIRT: An uncovered thigh is a form of nakedness. ‘Modest and cute’ options are found at thrift stores.

Yeah, and also everywhere else! There’s nothing wrong with shopping at thrift stores but they are hardly your only options. How frequently they get mentioned makes me wonder if the Duggars are secretly being paid to plug thrift shops.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Anonyme

    It looks like they’ve ditched the Little House on the Prairie style clothing, though the skirts still go to the knees (and always will, no doubt), but now they seem to have an unprecedented fixation on denim. The crinkly hair style is still in. However, I think the changes are due to media pressure, not a realization that women aren’t all wicked temptresses who cause men to stumble.

  • Nea

    I love how they claim fussing with your hair and slapping on colored grease and powders is “modest” adornment. I guess it’s only the atheist bible I read that has verses against vanity. (And what about thrift? You can’t buy hairspray used and save the difference!)

    As for thrift stores – there I’m conflicted. It can be really hard to find what you want, and sometimes hunting it down takes more time than it does to earn the money to buy some things new. But… I got a helluva deal on a leather jacket at my favorite thrift store two days ago.

  • Saraquill

    Are they humblebragging? I can’t tell.

  • Independent Thinker

    On more than one occasion the Duggars have plugged Wholesome Wear swimwear. On end of summer clearance the cheapest swimsuit is $79.20 for womens sizes, the plus sizes will run $91.20 at clearance prices. I doubt any of the wholesome wear suits featured on 19 Kids and Counting were purchased from thrift stores. Eighty bucks for a swimsuit is hardly thrifty.


  • Trollface McGee

    Enhancing our ratings is pleasing to the Lord.
    How far do they have to drop for them to adopt a (Christian) midget polygamist family that does circus tricks or for Michelle to grow a beard(modestly)?

  • Me, I LOVE thrift stores. When you find that real steal (like the Liz Claiborne sweater with the sale tags still attached) you leave feeling like you wind the lottery.

  • Nightshade

    You have to have an open mind with thrift stores. If you go in looking for a raspberry red cotton-polyester blend blouse with long sleeves, button cuffs, and round collar in your size, for example, you’re probably not going to find it-although maybe, just mayyyyybe, it will be your lucky day! But if you watch for tops that you can wear with jeans that leaves the field wide open (what CAN’T you wear with jeans???), then you can select the one(s) you actually like. Congrats on the leather jacket, there’s nothing like finding the occasional treasure!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I do a combination of thrift stores and mark downs at better dept stores. Really depends on what you need the clothes for. I never have luck for work clothes at the thrift store, but it if stay at home tees and sweaters then the thrift store is fine

  • katiehippie

    Are there people in this movement that criticize the Duggars for getting too worldly?

  • MizzKittay

    Not sure if modesty changed or the ratings did. Which would allow the Duggar girls to style and spray daily.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Nope. Still not going to believe that my shoulders or knees are enough to lead men down an evil wicked sinful path. The cleavage? Possibly. But as long as my boobs don’t need a wheelbarrow and my bras aren’t horrible polyester circus-tent like things, I figure I’m ok with a little cleavage showing until such time as those things change…

    The Duggar ladies obsession with denim skirts could be due to 1.) denim isn’t clingy really…and 2.) when a skirt isn’t clingy and can be starched so it stands by itself without assistance you don’t need to wear a slip under it…which might be nice with the hot and humid weather. I can’t see denim being great for riding a bike or playing sports/exercising when it’s denim made into a calf length skirt. Maybe they’re expected to get a treadmill or exercise bike for the home which they can maybe get in a little exercise on when they’re not busy raising kids, having kids, keeping the house, homeschooling, ministering to their husband on demand, cooking, and whatever else they have to accomplish…because they have to stay attractive to their husband along with on-demand ministering otherwise he’ll be forced to look and maybe even get ministered to by other women!

    Long hair, cover your hair, shave your hair, or somewhere in between…if it’s on your head then you should be the one who makes decisions on how you want it to look and who gets to see it. Of course that’s kind of applicable to other areas too, but I feel no urgent need to know if the Duggers go for brazilians when they’re hitched.

  • SAO

    My guess would be that the average QF family needs to shop at thrift shops. My son has always worn out the knees of his pants before he’s outgrown them. It’s not uncommon for him to wear out the elbows, too. He needs a new wardrobe every year and not much of it is in any shape to be handed down to the next kid (not a problem, he’s the youngest of two). With several boys like that, the cost of clothes would be quite high.

    Denim skirts are easy care and plenty of non-QF women wear them, making a denim skirt and a tee look pretty normal, which the prairie muffin look doesn’t do.

  • ShinyZubat

    I just… those are just so awful. Why even go swimming?

    Never mind paying $80+ for it.

  • Rebecca Horne

    I managed to find a $4 shirt in a thrift store last week that was so snazzy and perfectly fitted, my partner was worried I’d been abducted by aliens and replaced by somebody who knew how to dress themself!

  • Jayn

    I know what you mean on thrift shopping. I did a lot of it growing up and there was never a lot I was interested in wearing, a selection that barely overlapped with stuff in my size. Today I typically only do thrift shopping for myself if I want costume pieces.

  • Nea

    The crinkly hair style is still in because it’s still Gothard’s fetish.

  • Nea

    Yeah, but even “I want a top I can wear with jeans that fits and is comfortable” can be asking too much on a bad run if you aren’t a standard size.

  • Nea

    I’m staggered at the gouging going on for “modest” clothing. I’ll never get over seeing a standard 6-gore ankle-length skirt pattern going for 5x the cost you’d pay at the local JoAnne Fabrics.

  • Nea

    When aren’t they?

  • Nightshade

    True-been there, done that, I understand completely, sadly I’m not a size 10, or 12, or…well, you get the idea!-but it does give a better chance over seeking a specific item. Even so sometimes it’s way too much time and trouble, you have to decide for yourself at what point it’s no longer worth it.

  • Independent Thinker

    I was surprised how many sewing booths are at homeschooling conventions are slinging overpriced patterns, programs, and tutorials. Of course none of those are from mainstream retailers. When I went to my first homeschooling convention half the booths in my opinion had little to nothing to do with actual homeschooling. Most were ministries or home based businesses of homeschooling families.

  • JaneSmith100

    Like Little House on the Prairie clothes. :::::shuddering::::::

  • Astrin Ymris

    It’s possible to get some that are less awful. This site sells dress + leggings of lycra in some cute prints. However, you have to provide your own bra (presumably a bikini top).


    If you get the leggings made short enough, you can wear it to the luau afterwards without needing a coverup! Though one site said you should add several inches to your waist measurements, because she likes to make the midriffs TIGHT to avoid the horror of the suit “floating up” in the water.


    Why girls who are going to be wearing a wet suit over their swimwear anyway need a “modest” swimsuit isn’t explained.

  • Nea

    One cynically wonders if the isolation of homeschooling and fear of the secular world makes it easier to price gouge for things that could be available much more inexpensively from a much less religious retailer.

  • Independent Thinker

    I think a degree of the price gouging comes from the fact that most homeschooling companies double as ministries. Apparently have a sewing ministry, candle making ministry, coffee ministry, etiquette ministry, foreign language ministry, mission trips ministry, spice mix ministry, art supplies ministry, or coupon ministry makes it easier to price gouge. (Everything I listed I have actually seen at a homeschooling convention. That list is NOT random.)

  • Independent Thinker

    A wetsuit over a swim dress is just as logical as a skirt over ski pants.


  • Astrin Ymris

    Not really. They spend $80 on a skirted swimsuit, then crush the skirt into a wet suit. So why bother with the skirt in the first place?

    Mind you, I agree that the whole idea of skirted ski-suits so that everyone on the slopes can see how “modest” you are is pretty ridiculous. It’s far more pretentious and self-aggrandizing than “modest”.

  • ShinyZubat

    Well, those are *better*. I guess they wear underwear underneath them as well? AND the wetsuit? It just seems like so much effort. 😛

  • Nea

    Of course it does – ministries are tax-free, so make as much money as possible!

    I also cynically wonder if calling it a “ministry” makes it easier for some women within that culture to have more time for what they want to do. Theyr’re not puttering in the kitchen and garden, it’s a spice mix ministry!

    Alternatively, most of those are the kind of things a woman with little education and time outside the house can do to bring in money – but we all know women aren’t allowed to work, so Ta Da! Ministry!

  • Astrin Ymris

    According to the mother on the ‘Large Families on Purpose’ site, the daughters ASKED for skirted swimwear. After three years of being told that their clothed crotch was “immodest” in a way that the their brothers’ clothed crotches weren’t, they were “uncomfortable” in the swim shorts and tees that their grandmother bought them to wear while swimming– usually in a wet suit. (The family doesn’t go to public swimming pools, preferring to swim in the Puget Sound for economic reasons. Apparently, wet suits for their brood are cheaper than season pool passes would be in Washington State. Who knew?)

  • MsLoLoJ H

    IIRC, I read in Gothard’s guidelines for women that denim should be avoided, so I guess they’re pretty liberal as far as that goes. The curly hairstyles some of the older girls wear (via curling irons) are in. Those horrible, permed, crunchy curls a la Michelle’s hair were in style in the 80s and should have been left there along with the rounded bangs. Travesty!

  • MsLoLoJ H

    Jim Bob is doing more than his fair share of depleting the ozone layer to make his helmet hair. On one episode he was spraying his hair in the hallway outside of the bathroom because the girls complained that he leaves a coat of shellac on the bathroom walls.

  • texcee

    I would imagine that those “modest” swimsuits are actually very dangerous if worn into the water. Once all that fabric gets waterlogged, it become extremely heavy and could pull a child under and drown.