Former ‘Counting On’ Star Joy Duggar Forsyth Reveals the Challenges of Living In the Spotlight & Being “Lumped Together” with Her Family: “I Have My Own Opinions”

“…and neither does my husband, but we’ll save that for another day.”

Joy Duggar Forsyth took to YouTube this week to answer questions from fans and open up about the challenges of living in the spotlight as a member of the Duggar Family. 

The former Counting On star, who shares three children with husband Austin Forsyth, fielded a number of questions submitted by fans on social media– many regarding her day-to-day life as a mom, though some geared specifically to her experience growing up in the public eye. 

As fans know, Joy appeared on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting with her 18 siblings and parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, before going on to appear on the spin-off, ‘Counting On’, until the series was cancelled in 2020. 

In her YouTube video, Joy acknowledged the difficulties she’s experienced as a result of her family being in the public eye. 

“Probably the number one hardest part is just everybody having an opinion about your life,” she said. “And it’s also like, annoying, it’s hard but it’s annoying, because I’m like, you don’t really know me … .” 

“There’s more to me than birthing babies and being at Austin’s beck and call.”

Joy recalled an instance when someone was “just going off” on her on Instagram and she decided to respond by messaging them privately. 

“ … This person was not being kind, like, they were saying things about me that they just, I guess thought they knew or thought they knew me personally or whatever, just because they’ve seen what we’ve put out there,” she said, noting that the individual responded to her message by accusing her of being “fake.” 

Joy went on to say that one of the hardest things for her is dealing with people– like the person on Instagram– who seemingly lump her together with her family. 

“ … I am my own person, I [have] my own family, like, I have my own opinions … ,” she said. “This person would not believe me. They’re like, ‘No, this is, you know, somebody else is controlling you … .’ 

“Who, me?!”

“It’s hard because people have their opinions and there’s some times where it doesn’t bother me, but there are other times when I am already feel[ing] like I’m knocked down, those things tend to come back and they do bother me,” she continued. “So I have to be careful about the comments I read and when I read them and what I allow myself to look at or see, what people say about me … .” 

Joy, also describing what it’s like to be around Jim Bob…probably.

Joy noted that, while she grew up in the spotlight, she now chooses to put herself “out there” via social media, which makes it “a little bit more ok.” Still, she said it’s frustrating when people assume things about her. 

“In my heart, I’m like, I want them to really get to know me … ,” she said. “That’s another thing … I wish people would get to know me for me and not my whole family, if that makes sense. Like, I am an individual … .” 

“Don’t let the similar clothing styles and same initial first names fool ya!”

Joy said she dislikes the fact that the Duggars are “lumped together as a whole family,” rather than people getting to know who she and her siblings are as individuals. 

While Joy sees and speaks to a number of her siblings regularly, she said her older sister Jinger Vuolo is the sibling she is closest to these days. 

Despite both her and Austin enjoying their visits with Jinger and Jinger’s husband, Jeremy Vuolo, Joy said she doesn’t see her family relocating to Los Angeles to be closer to the couple. 

Joy also revealed that she sees her parents at least once a week and that her mom comes over to babysit “probably once a month” so that she and Austin can have a date night. 

Watch Joy’s full Q&A below.  

RELATED STORY: Jill Dillard Says Parents Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar Have Read Her Tell-All Book ‘Counting the Cost’; Reveals Where Relationship with Her Siblings Stand

(Photos: YouTube; TLC; Instagram) 


  1. Any preconceived notions we have about you-you can blame on Jim Bob not us.
    And if you don’t like it, show us something different.

  2. But Joy, were you ever allowed to VOICE those opinions?! You were pretty much a tomboy in your young years but then it was kinda forced out of you so that you can be a homemaker like every other sister in your family. I worry about her the most. I don’t think this is the life she actually wanted. Not to mention her husband isn’t really a prize either.

      1. I am sure she is exhausted from taking care of kids, but her glossy bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils predates kids. Idk, I’ve never seen anyone look like that who isn’t high or sick. Not saying that she is, just that it’s what it looks like. No judgement of she is or isn’t more so an observation.

    1. @cindy ~ not sure if she’s high as much as she’s a total drip. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤣💧

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