There was a time when Jessa Duggar was one of the more scandal-free Duggars, and even critics of the family agreed that she seemed to be among the least problematic of Jim Bob and Michelle’s many, many children.
But the past few days have been rough on Jessa, and now she finds herself on the receiving end of some harsh criticism.
Bizarrely, most of it has to do with clothing.
It all started last week, when we first learned that Jessa would be giving a lecture on dressing modestly at a women’s retreat in Middletown, Ohio.
Obviously, it’s more than a little weird and gross that the topic of her address sounds like something from a finishing school curriculum, circa a few years before women got the vote.
But fans were freaked out by more than just the content of the speech.
The whole thing was shrouded in a strange secrecy:
Girls under 9 and men of all ages were barred from attending, and a webpage about Jessa’s appearance disappeared shortly after the retreat began to receive nationwide media attention.
The situation served as a cringe-inducing reminder of the fact the Duggars have been accused of blaming the victims of sexual assault for dressing too provocatively.
Some objected to the fact that Jessa seemed to be using her fame to cash in on her younger fans in a somewhat shameless fashion.
(Tickets for the event sold for as much as $50.)
It’s a lesser concern, obviously, but it still points to some deeply troubling hypocrisy lurking at the intersection of the Duggars’ business practices and their religious beliefs.
Fortunately, Jessa’s latest sartorial scandal is far less nauseating:
That’s Jessa with her husband, Ben Seewald, and her sons, Spurgeon and Henry Wilberforce.
They’re about to attend Easter Sunday church services, and aside from the kids’ names (Just kidding, Jessa!) it’s hard to imagine what could possibly be wrong with this photo.
It seems the issue has to do with the children’s feet.
Yes, as you can see, Henry and lil Spurge aren’t wearing any shoes or socks, and in 2017, that apparently justifies a comments-section freak-out.
“Why do they not have shoes on?” one of Jessa’s followers wrote.
“The ground is not clean. Use your head Jessa. The boys need to wear shoes when outside.”
Amazingly, Jessa actually took the time to respond, writing:
“We try. Spurgeon took his shoes off in the car, so we didn’t bother to put them back on,” the mother of two wrote.
“He’s still a baby, so we carry him around most of the time when we’re out and about.”
They must be playing ice hockey in hell, folks, because we’re siding with Jessa on this one.
Look, we know there are a lot of people who have very justifiable beefs with the Duggars.
In fact, we can’t imagine how anyone doesn’t have beef with the Duggars.
But when you focus on the little mistakes instead of the big picture, you distract from what’s really important.
Sometimes you have to let the little annoyances go in order to save your energy for the stuff that really matters.
Call it tantrum-management in the age of Trump.