The four eldest Duggar daughters write in Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships that mother Michelle Duggar dressed like quite a harlot back in her high-school cheerleading days.
“She had no idea that dancing around in a short skirt in front of a bunch of boys was causing many of them to think sensual thoughts about her and the other cheerleaders,” daughters Jill, Jana, Jessa and Jinger wrote of their mom’s high-school days. “She also used to go to school dances but stopped participating when God convicted her that dancing stirred up a lot of sensual desires in young men and women that could not be righteously fulfilled.”
The Duggar girls — who refrain from dancing and revealing shoulders or upper legs — praised Michelle for quitting the cheerleading team when she found God in the middle of her senior year.
“A lot of people didn’t understand why she would choose to give up one of the most coveted positions in the high school, but that was where she felt God was leading her,” the girls said of their mom, who was then known by maiden name Michelle Ruark. They added she was rewarded around the same time by meeting Jim Bob Duggar, whom she married a three months after graduation.
As Michelle and Jim Bob went on to welcome nine daughters, they made a point of teaching them about modesty.
“We do not dress modestly because we are ashamed of the body God has given us; quite the contrary. We realize that our body is a special gift from God and that He intends for it to be shared only with our future husband,” said the four adult daughters. “We avoid low-cut, cleavage-showing, gaping, or bare-shouldered tops; and when needed, we wear an undershirt. We try to make it a habit to always cover the top of our shirt with our hand when we bend over. We don’t want to play the peekaboo game with our neckline.”
The girls said they also use “Nike” as a code word to warn their 10 brothers and dad about an immodestly dressed woman.
“That’s a signal to the boys, and even to Dad, that they should nonchalantly drop their eyes and look down at their shoes as we walk past her,” the girls explained. “It’s meant to help keep the guys’ eyes from seeing things they shouldn’t be seeing. By using the single-word signal, the warning can be given quietly and discreetly.”
Continue reading Starcasm for more Growing Up Duggar excerpts, including the girls’ thoughts on courting. The book is also available for purchase.