Jinger Vuolo is the sixth-born child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the (in)famous parents responsible for the hit reality show 19 Kids and Counting, which collapsed in 2015 under a mountain of controversy. Of her eight sisters and 10 brothers, Jinger has managed to stand out as the rebellious one–a social media favorite who inspired campaigns from fans urging her to escape her family’s conservative brand of Christianity.
What sets Jinger apart from the rest of the Duggars? Quite a lot. From her stormy past, to her risqué (relatively speaking) fashion choices, to the man she married — Jinger is clearly forging her own path. She even set her sights on city life and moved away from the rest of her family, which was virtually unheard of until she packed her bags. For reality TV fans, she’s certainly one to watch, but does Jinger really have one foot out the door? Let’s take a closer look.
She deemed herself ‘totally broken’
The Duggar family practices a fundamentalist form of Christianity that has come under fire for its positions on intimacy, family planning, gender roles, and more. Jinger has revealed that she wasn’t always on board with her parent’s beliefs.
According to Radar Online, Jinger discussed her change of heart in a Facebook video clip: "I grew up in a Christian home, of course, but I realized at a young age that I was sinner," she said. At age 14, "I came to my parents and I was like, I really need Jesus because I know in my own self I’m not going to be able to get to heaven. I’ve done so many bad deeds…I was totally broken." After that come-to-Jesus moment, Jinger reportedly embraced her family’s faith.
At the time of this writing, she and husband Jeremy Vuolo’s official website suggests they’re committed to Christian values, yet there have been signs that Jinger still may not be fully committed to the Duggars’ particular brand of spirituality.
She broke the family rules on side hugs
Ma and pa Jinger maintain strict rules about physical contact while dating. According to the Inquisitr, family patriarch Jim Bob is "so afraid of normal hugs causing impure thoughts and feelings that he only allows his kids to side hug each other."
But as Jinger took her "courtship" with Jeremy to the next level, The Hollywood Gossip reported that they may have violated the rules by giving each other a front hug. Gasp! Fans were reportedly abuzz after a clip from the Duggar spin-off Jill & Jessa: Counting On revealed the supposedly scandalous squeeze.
"Jinger and I are both very affectionate," Jeremy reportedly says in one episode. "It means a lot to have an arm around or something, and that’s how we express our affection. We have a clean conscience as long as it’s not leading us to impurity."
You may be thinking: what’s the big deal? Keep in mind, the Duggars believe parents should chaperone all of their kids’ dates (regardless of age) until the wedding day, so the geometry of a hug is critical.
Her guy has a checkered past
In 2008, years before Jinger and Jeremy met, the soccer star was arrested for harassing a police officer during a drunken night in college, reported In Touch. According to the police report, Jeremy was "acting belligerent and shouting obscenities." Jeremy has admitted he was a part of the "college party scene," but after the arrest, he supposedly stopped living "foolishly" and became a minister.
As if that wasn’t scandalous enough, Jeremy also has a tattoo, which is another big no-no for the Duggars. "While it’s hard to make out what he has inked on his body," said In Touch, "many viewers have speculated that it’s a bible verse–considering his dedication to his religion."
She was reportedly molested by her brother
In 2015, the Duggar family’s wholesome public image imploded when Michelle and Jim Bob revealed that their oldest, Josh, had "molested four of his sisters and a babysitter" when he was a teen and they were minors, reported The Washington Post.
After the story broke and the family’s reality TV presence collapsed, sisters Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Joy Duggar, and Jinger sued city, county, and police officials in Arkansas for releasing police reports to In Touch, claiming they were further victimized when their case was made public. According to Page Six, "city and county officials have asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that they qualify for immunity from being sued and that the information released was public knowledge."
In another controversial twist, Josh reportedly requested to join his sisters’ privacy lawsuit, though his sisters did not want him to be included in their case. At the time of this writing, a judge has opted to halt Josh’s case until a decision is made on a motion to dismiss the sisters’ suit, reported Page Six.
While Jill and Jessa have spoken publicly about their family’s ordeal–claiming Josh touched them while they were sleeping and they only learned about it after the fact when he confessed to their parents–Jinger has remained quiet on the topic.
TLC edited Josh out of her wedding
Just a few short months after their engagement, Jinger and Jeremy tied the knot on Nov. 5, 2016. Producers of Jill & Jessa: Counting On reportedly worked frantically to incorporate the wedding into the spin-off show’s second season, but there was just one not-so-small problem: Josh.
According to the Daily Mail, Josh was banned from appearing on TLC after his molestation scandal prompted the network to cancel 19 Kids and Counting. Though he wasn’t part of the wedding party, the camera crew apparently had to get very creative to obscure his presence at the nuptials, showing only the back of his head or taking advantage of "strategic angles on some of the camera shots, which used other guests in the forefront to block out Josh in background."
Her clothing choices aren’t Duggar-approved
Jinger has made waves for wearing pants and–even worse–shorts, which her parents do not deem appropriate for women, according to The Hollywood Gossip.
However, there’s an asterisk connected to Jinger’s pants rebellion. She’s reportedly only allowed to wear slacks because her husband permits it. "When a Duggar woman gets married, as Jinger did last fall, her husband replaces her father as the master of her mind and body," The Hollywood Gossip reported.
The tab said Jeremy addressed women’s wardrobes during one of his sermons in Texas. "It is your liberty as to whether you dress modestly with a modest pair of pants, or with a skirt, or with a T-shirt, or with a blouse," he reportedly said. "It is not your liberty, women, to wear sensual, seductive clothing that is designed to draw the attention of your brothers."
She’s the first kid to permanently relocate
While her parents would reportedly prefer for their kids to stay close to their homestead in Arkansas, Jinger apparently wants some space.
"City please city please," she reportedly says in an episode of 19 Kids & Counting (via HuffPost). According to the Inquistr, after Jeremy popped the question in NYC in 2016, Jinger started dropping hints that she hoped to move to the Big Apple. She even opted to walk down the aisle in nearby New Jersey.
Despite the buzz, mama Michelle seems to be downplaying those rumors. "Jinger didn’t mean she wanted to move to New York City," Michelle told Radar Online. "She meant that she wants to live closer to a city. We’re talking right near a city, but not New York City. Jinger meant she wanted to live 15 minutes from a Wal-mart. We live so far out of town on 20 acres, but Jinger wants to live closer to town, so she doesn’t have to drive so far to go shopping."
At the time of this writing, Jinger and Jeremy are residing in Laredo, Texas, making Jinger "the first member of her family to permanently relocate," reported People. Rumors began swirling in September 2017 that the young couple may be considering a big jump across the pond to pursue a job opportunity in Scotland.