‘Counting On’ Alum Joy-Anna Duggar Opens Up About Decision to Wear Pants: ‘I Do Try to Be Modest’
Joy-Anna Forsyth (née Duggar) opened up about her decision to wear pants after initially being prohibited under the teachings of the religious organization, Institute in Basic Life principles.
“[We] felt like there wasn’t anything in the scripture that’s black and white on dress,” Joy-Anna, 25, explained during a YouTube video posted on Friday, March 17. “I think biblically, we just kind of looked through scripture for a long time and feel like this is OK for our family.”
The former TLC star explained that she and her husband, Austin Forsyth, started conversations revolving around dress “within our first year of marriage” and it was something the pair talked about “on and off for the last three or four years.”
“I had always worn skirts my whole life and so for me, like I don’t know, I just wasn’t in a rush,” the mom of two continued. “I feel like you can be modest and wear pants and that’s kind of where we came to. I do try to be modest in my pants, like in wearing pants, and not things too tight or too short.”
Joy-Anna isn’t the only Duggar sister who is opening up on her changed views, older sister Jessa Seewald (née Duggar) revealed she is no longer “against birth control.”
“Biblically speaking, there’s no category for birth control being wrong,” Jessa, 28, explained in a YouTube video posted on her channel on February 25. “We know the truth that children are a blessing from the Lord, but like with any blessing, it’s fine to manage that.”
Jessa went on to acknowledge that “birth control is a very broad term,” but that she and her husband, Ben Seewald, are “not against preventing a pregnancy, or spacing kids.”
Jessa and Joy-Anna’s comments follow sister Jinger Duggar’s example, as it was first revealed in October 2022 that Jinger authored a new book where she “recounted how she began to question the harmful ideology of her youth and learned to embrace true freedom in Christ,” per the book’s description.
A month later, the Counting On alum clarified in a video titled “The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done,” that the book was not a “tell-all about my family,” but instead a deep dive into her spiritual journey. Her parents, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, raised their 19 kids to follow the Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP) organization’s ministry, which Jinger now believes influenced her to build her life on “rules, not God’s Word.”
The Christian organization, which was established by Bill Gothard in 1961, includes teachings on “male superiority and female obedience,” guidelines on how men and women should dress, homeschooling curriculums and Bible memorization, according to a July 2016 article in The Chicago Magazine.