I'm still amazed by the varying opinions about my post on The Duggars from this Spring. Everyone seems to have something to say about them, their family, their life, their kids, and we're so passionate about it! We're emotionally invested in their situation as if we actually know them, because on some level we all do. My good friend Rachael M. made a very important point, which I feel like not enough of us are actually considering.... they have opened themselves up to criticism by inviting TV cameras into their lives.

My guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip. Thanks to FameCrawler I was on the Britney Spears meltdown last winter like a monkey on a cupcake. I love reading about other people's lives, and you do too. You wouldn't be reading blogs if you didn't! Our society embraces a certain level of voyeurism, from gossip magazines at the grocery checkout line to our ongoing obsession with reality television, its all around us. The Duggars realize this, and they've capitalized on it! Its simply unarguable. They made the choice to share their details, and they know we're watching.

We watch their day to day life on our televisions and assume that we know these people, their values, their family dynamic, but we don't. We know what we see, the edited version of their very interesting life, and we make very passionate assumptions about them based on the very limited information we have. My question is, why do we insist on protecting them, if they've chosen this life? We all know its out of the ordinary, we all realize these people aren't normal, they've obviously accepted this, because they realized they had a product like none other. We're offering criticism of their way of life, of their impact on our world, on their belief system, or we're shaming the critics for being so negative, because we truly care about these people. Regardless of how we feel about them, they've had an impact on our lives. They're selling their family values and we're supporting every bit of it, whether we agree or not.


October 29, 2008 at 11:03 AM Jeni said...

Hey there, I'm one of Rachael M.'s friends and I read your post about the Duggars earlier in the Spring. I have to admit that that is my most favorite tv show. I mainly like it because I like to see how they make a house of 19 run smoothly...or what seems to be smoothly. You're right; we get the edited version of their life, but I feel like the unedited version can't be much different. I am impressed with the way they do things. I am impressed that they have ZERO debt. No car debt, house debt, credit card debt, nothing. I have a family of four and haven't been able to do that. I am impressed that despite having such a large family, they do worry about the environment. They recycle, the only buy clothing and shoes second-hand, and they make their own laundry soap for crying out loud. It's just impressive to me to see the ways the save money. I know one comment a lot of people make is about the ecological footprint of their family, and all the resources, and all the diapers, blah, blah. I think this is a bogus arguement, especially since I've learned the how they do things to help lessen that footprint. And besides, there will be plenty of couples in the world who will have no children or just one or two, so it really kind of all evens out in my book. I personally would never want 18 kids, but more power to them if they do. They take care of those children debt-free and without making them anyone else's burden, and even though some call it extreme, they are raising them to be good people who I believe will give a lot back to their world in adulthood. Why are people so fired up about them? If you ask me, it makes for a great tv show, and I personally get a lot of good ideas for things they do I want to implement in my family. I have got to find her recipe for homeade laundry detergent. Now if we could just get Mama Duggar to do something about that hair. :)