Joy-Anna Duggar Weight Loss Photo Stirs Controversy

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Until recently, Joy-Anna Duggar was not one of the most high-profile members of her famous family, for no rhyme or reason.

In a clan the size of the Duggars, there are bound to be certain siblings who receive more attention from fans and producers.

That's changed in a big way, though.

Joy Duggar Image

These days, however, Joy-Anna is engaged to Austin Forsyth and fans are loving the flurry of activity leading up to her wedding.

But a new photo of the 19-year-old has sparked concerns about how well Joy-Anna is handling the pressure of living in the limelight.

The image of Joy-Anna with her younger sister Josie shows that the bride-to-be - who will marry Forsyth in October - has lost a considerable amount of weight in recent weeks.

Is that cause for alarm?

Many card-carrying members of Duggar Nation have congratulated Joy-Anna and commented favorably on her new appearance.

Others, however, have expressed concern - and reached their own conclusions - about how quickly she seems to be shedding the pounds.

Joy-Anna Duggar Weight Loss Photo

The above photo of Joy-Anna and Josie was posted on the Duggars official Facebook page over the weekend, and the comments section was a testimony to the strangely mixed reaction from fans.

"Wow. So beautiful!!!” wrote one awe-struck follower.

“I couldn’t believe that was Joy!! She lost weight!!"

“I didn’t even recognize Joy until I noticed Josie,” another commented, gushing over the picture of the siblings and adding:

“Joy must have lost weight she looks so great.”

Would-be brides slimming down before their wedding day is hardly a foreign concept, but some fans believe that Joy-Anna is slimming down much too rapidly.

Joy-Anna Duggar, Austin Forsyth

“She looks good but she is not a naturally thin person," one critic said. "She’s probably starving herself. She won’t keep the weight off."

"She will gain again after the wedding,” wrote the fan.

Others among the Duggar faithful hypothesized as to exactly why Joy-Anna and her sisters all maintain such svelte figures.

Could it be due to their strict religious beliefs?

“Why it is important that the Duggar girls become underweight? It is not fair for the young ladies in the Gothard IBLP to be under so much pressure to be thin," wrote one concerned observer.

Yes, many believe that as with every other aspect of their lives, it's the Duggars' religious beliefs that guide their diet and exercise routines.

Duggar, Joy-Anna

Indeed, the teaching materials for the controversial Institute of Basic Life Principles, which forms the religious basis for much of the Duggars' belief system, have much to say on the topics of diet and nutrition.

“God is concerned about overeating and being over-weight,” one passage reads.

“Weight control requires consistent conformity to God’s principles of living.”

In a 2014 interview with People magazine, family matriarch Michelle Duggar revealed that she had battled bulimia as a child.

She credited her husband Jim Bob and the IBLP with helping her overcome her eating disorder and body image issues.

Joy-Anna Duggar Eye Roll

In the recent memoir Growing Up Duggar, the ladies of the Duggar clan shared their own weight loss struggles with fans:

“When we were younger, most of us could eat about anything we wanted to and not gain weight," the text reads.

"But those times have changed. We’ve found that most of us older Duggars have a tendency to gain weight."

Whatever they're doing, it appears to be effective.

That doesn't mean, of course, that their chosen method of shedding pounds is necessarily healthy. What do you think?

Is this something to worry about? Or are the fans once again picking apart photos a little too obsessively here?

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