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'Counting On's Joy-Anna Duggar Resents Being Lumped Together With Famous Family: 'I'm My Own Person'

Joy-Anna Duggar on TLC's 'Counting On.'

Joy-Anna Duggar is  tired of broad generalizations comparing her to her reality TV family—and she recently sounded off about it on social media.

Before the Duggars' TLC show Counting On was canceled in 2020, Joy-Anna, 26, starred alongside her 18 siblings and their parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. The fundamentalist Christian family from Arkansas previously had a show called 19 Kids and Counting on the same network.

Today, Joy-Anna is married to Austin Forsyth, and they share three children: Gideon, almost 6, Evelyn, 3 1/2, and Gunner, 8 months. And in a YouTube video published on Jan. 26, Joy opened up about the hardest part of living life in the spotlight.

"Probably the number one hardest part is just everybody having an opinion about your life," she shared during a Q&A session.

Joy-Anna shared an anecdote about directly messaging a social media user—who commented unkind things about what they thought she believed based on her family's beliefs—to no productive end.

"I'm my own person," Joy insisted. "I have my own opinions."

She continued: "It's hard because people have their opinions, and there's sometimes where it doesn't bother me, but there are other times where when I already like feel like I'm knocked down, those things tend to come back and they do bother me."

For that reason, Joy-Anna said she has to be "careful about the comments I read and when I read them," because "there are times when I can take it, and there are times that I can't."

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"For people to say things when they don't actually know us is frustrating because in my heart, I'm like, I really want them to get to know me," the former reality star said.

Joy-Anna concluded: "I wish people would get to know me for me and not for my whole family, if that makes sense. Like, I am an individual—not being lumped together as a whole family, but like getting to know each one of my siblings individually and not like lumping everybody together."

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TLC canceled both 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On following two separate controversies involving the eldest brother, Josh Duggar, who is in prison until 2032 after being convicted of downloading child sexual abuse images.

Two of Joy-Anna's sisters, Jinger Vuolo and Jill Dillard, have published memoirs about their sheltered upbringing under the teachings of pastor Bill Gothard's Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBPL), which Jill has since described as "like a cult" in an interview with People. Jill also appeared in the 2023 Prime Video docuseries, Shiny Happy People: The Duggar Family Secrets.

Next: Jill Duggar Shares If Parents Jim Bob and Michelle Have Read Her Bombshell Memoir