If you’re a Duggar fan, then by now, you’re almost certainly aware of the civil war threatening to tear the family in two.
The feud between Derick Dillard and Jim Bob Duggar has been raging for months, and it shows no signs of being settled anytime soon.
In fact, it looks as though the situation has only worsened in recent weeks.
At this point, Derick’s wife, Jill Duggar, appears to have completely severed ties with her parents, and she seems completely uninterested in repairing the relationship.
There’s no financial downside, as Jill quit Counting On after Derick got fired back in 2017.
And if Derick’s claims about Jim Bob withholding his kids’ earnings are true, there was never any fiscal incentive to suck up to the Duggar patriarch.
It seems the the kids cower in Jim Bob’s presence simply because that’s the way things are done in the Duggars’ community.
But Jill no longer resides in that world.
And some fans believe her recent behavior is an indication that she has no intention of ever going back to it.
The changes, they claim, are subtle, but plentiful.
For starters, Jill doesn’t seem quite so concerned with presenting a flawless version of herself and her family as she once was.
Gripes about the difficulties of life under quarantine with two young children, the stress of paying the bills with a law student husband who’s moonlighting as a GrubHub driver …
Such relatable problems as these are not the sort of thing that Duggar women are usually permitted to complain about.
Basically, all of Jill’s sisters are still in Full House mode, and she’s transitioned into Roseanne.
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
But the fact is, Jill might not have the safety net of her parents’ support anymore, but it seems she’s living a fully liberated life for the first time.
And her candor with regard to the kinds of problems she’s facing isn’t the only indication.
In fact, fans say Jill has been talking and carrying herself completely differently in the months since she cut ties with her parents.
Jill Duggar Cuts Off Her Hair
As an example, they cite this famous video from December of last year, in which Jill cuts off a considerable chunk of her hair.
The act itself is alarming in the Duggars’ world, but what might be even more interesting is that Jill (who rarely appears on camera these days) appears to have abandoned the breathy “baby voice” favored by her mother and sisters as a sign of feminine fragility.
On Jill’s Instagram page and on the always-amusing r/DuggarSnark subreddit, fans have been applauding the 29-year-old’s “sassier” approach to life, especially as it seems to be a sign of increased independence from Jim Bob and Michelle.
Are people reading too much into a tone of voice and a few confessional social media posts?
Perhaps, but the Duggars are huge on dog whistles — they love communicating to each other and to their fellow evangelical extremists in subtle, often unspoken ways.
The kids grow up fluent in this silent language, and they know exactly what they’re doing when they make a public break from the way things are usually done in their family.
And they know Jim Bob will be the first to pick up on their subtle indicators of individuality.