Two of America’s most infamous families, for several reasons, are the Duggars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, and the Kardashians of E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, although both families have various spinoff shows. Because of church, dress codes, courting, mission trips, and things of that sort, the Duggars seem to view themselves on a plane above the Kardashians (and essentially everyone else). But the Kardashians don’t seem to give a sh*t about the Duggars or anyone else either. The families are complete opposites of each other until you delve deeper — believe me, you’ll be surprised at just how much these families who have been designated “good” and “evil” by the public actually have in common. The thing is, they are both fake AF. And that, my friends, is the first thing they have in common.
Even though the two clans are considered very opposite, when you look at the obvious, how different are they really? When you stop focusing on the feminism, trashiness, holier-than-thou attitudes, their respective dress codes, and the fact that they stand on completely opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to social issues, these two families are, in fact, not that different. Sure, one family’s swimwear is the size of the other’s evening wear, but the differences end there.
The following 18 side-by-side images have been created to enhance my points of why, when it comes down to it, the moral and the wicked of America’s two biggest reality entertainment families are truly interchangeable. These photos and the facts behind them will have you questioning which is really the moral family, and which is really the wicked? It seems to me that both are both.
18. It’s a Zoo in Here!
Let’s start with the obvious. One of the reasons these people are so famous to begin with is because of the sheer numbers that make up their families. Obviously, the Duggars have 19 children, plus two parents, totaling 21 people. But wait. When you add in all the spouses (four as of now, but more Duggars are courting as we speak, and we all know what that means!), and all the offspring of those marriages (seven, plus three on the way), it’s a total zoo. No wonder they’ve had success; people always love to watch a trainwreck.
Now for the Kardashians. At first, they don’t seem as big. But between Kris and Caitlyn (Bruce), his three sons, her three daughters, their two daughters, everyone’s spouses and/or boyfriends and girlfriends, and the four grandbabies they have so far, it’s a zoo in Calabasas, California, too. This clan has a higher turnover rate since the Duggars don’t seem to ever let anyone leave once they join the cult… er, family. Must be blood in, blood out.
17. Obsession with the Alphabet
It’s hard to ignore the fact that most of the members of each family have names starting with the same letter. With the exception of Duggar matriarch Michelle, her husband and all 19 of her children share a name with the first letter being J. As if having that many kids were not confusing enough, she apparently had to make it harder on herself (or her older kids who play mommy to the younger ones and basically raise them for her).
The Kardashians operate in much the same way when it comes to alliteration. Mom Kris Jenner named her five daughters Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie. A few of those names are traditionally spelled with a C, but Kris wanted them all to match, apparently. Her only child without a K name is her only son, Rob, named after her late husband, Robert Kardashian. Kris’s most recent ex-husband, Bruce Jenner, kept with the K sound for his new female name after transitioning into a woman, but at least he got a bit creative and spelled Caitlyn with a C.
16. The Procreating Nonsense
It’s quite possibly a sobering thought when you realize that the next generation of Duggars and Kardashians are already well under way. And counting. Josh, Jill, and Jessa Duggar have seven children between them as of right now. Josh’s wife Anna, Jill, and their sister, Jinger, are all also pregnant, bringing the grand total to 10 Duggar grandbabies (and that’s with only four of the 21 kids as parents!). You know there will be dozens more over the next few decades as the rest of the clan grows up, marries, and pops them out.
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick have three children, Kim and Kanye have two but want a third, and there have been rumors of late that Khloe could be knocked up as well. Brother Rob just had his first baby, a girl, with his baby mama Blac Chyna. Plus, you know there’s bound to be an “accident” with Kendall or Kylie sometime in the near future (probably Kylie, if I had to bet).
15. Selfies and Vanity
They also like normal selfies of the non-pregnant variety, although who doesn’t these days? I’m simply pointing out that for a family like the Duggars, who claim to be above vanity, it’s a little strange how many selfies posted to social media we see from them, especially Jessa (she’s arguably the prettiest, so I get it, but still). The Kardashians, on the other hand, seem to have no qualms about being vain, and if they did, they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on to prove it. Bottom line: whether you’re a Duggar preaching simplicity and modesty or a Kardashian just doin’ your thang, they both love their freaking selfies, and there’s no denying it — just one more thing that makes them exactly the same. I must admit, however, that the Duggars seem a lot more fun in most of their selfies, which is surprising. The Kardashians are just so damn serious — probably trying to get their cheekbones, angles, pouts, and fish lips just right.
14. Fame You-Know-Whats
One of these families likes to act like they don’t care about all the attention, and one isn’t fake about loving it. Can you guess which is which? Yep, the holier-than-thou Duggar family plays it off like they’re just some southern, Bible-toting family whose first priority is the Lord. And maybe that’s really the case, but they sure do seem to love their extravagant mansion paid for by their show. Plus, they keep doing things to remain in the spotlight, and they keep having spinoff shows. Jim Bob and Michelle even pitched to TLC a show in which they counsel sex abuse victims! There have been plenty of other times they’ve been accused in the media of being desperate to stay relevant, as well.
As far as the Kardashians go, they don’t really have to try to stay relevant because people just gobble up whatever it is they’re putting out. For some reason, America loves to hate the Kardashians enough to keep them going, although they still act like total attention-seeking fame wh*res, if you ask me.
13. Their Men Are Cursed
Think about it: most of the men involved with Duggar or Kardashian women have suffered at least a little because of it. According to patheos.com, which compared the two families and found several similarities, “Just look at the guys on the Kardashian show — Scott Disick, Lamar Odom, Kris Humphries [sic], Kanye West, and many others. That’s a pile of drug and alcohol addictions post-Kardashians, nervous breakdowns, and general misfortunes. On the Duggar side, there haven’t been mental hospitals or rehabs, but we’ve seen men with some college and real jobs leave their lives to become sycophants/satellites around patriarch Jim Bob Duggar without working again. It seems to change the men in the lives of the daughters in some profoundly negative ways.” When you put it like that, it’s hard to disagree that marrying into either family, if you’re a man, could come with more risk than reward.
12. They Are Famous For the Same Thing
Can you guess what that is? Yep, you got it! The Duggar and Kardashian families are both famous for being famous, a term that seems to have been coined for the Kardashians, in particular. At least the Duggars have the unique aspect of having almost 20 children under one roof- which, don’t get me wrong, is totally creepy. But people love creepy. The Kardashians are a huge family too, but not to that level. Their father, Robert Kardashian, was one of the defense attorneys for O.J. Simpson, which kind of put their names in the news before Kim’s sex tape really hurled them into the spotlight. But other than that, they are totally famous for being famous, and nothing else. I gotta hand it to them, though; to become that famous for essentially nothing is pretty impressive.
11. Classy in Their Own Ways
Despite all of the negativity surrounding both families, I do have to give credit where credit is due. Both the Duggars and the Kardashians have had their classy moments (notice, I say “moments” — nothing usually longer than that). One way this is apparent (the most obvious way) is through their clothing. As we can see above, even the Kardashians are capable of dressing in a way that can be considered classy, although these ensembles seem to be few and far between. The Duggars always dress modestly, which doesn’t necessarily equate to class, but at least, for all their weddings, they look pretty ‘schnazzy.’ Besides their wardrobes, there have been plenty of heartwarming and classy moments for both families over the years, albeit in different ways. We’re just accustomed to always seeing the negative. They may live their lives very differently, but they’re both families capable of class (and should, maybe, try to display it more often).
10. They LOVE Christmas!
Okay, they love Christmas for very different reasons, but they both freaking love it. Then again, who doesn’t? The Duggars, obviously, love Christmas because it’s Jesus’ birthday. Obvious from the photo on top, they celebrate this day in honor of Him. However, they also seem to enjoy the materialistic side of the holiday, as evidenced by all those gifts. Can you even imagine how much money they must spend during the holidays?
Now for the Kardashians. Everyone knows they love Christmas, and they’re famous for their extravagant holiday cards they put together each year. They are pretty fabulous, I must admit. In the end, both families use this time each year to come together as a unit, and both are famous for their over-the-top celebrations.
9. They Thrive on Scandal
Again, the Duggars try to downplay the fact that they secretly like all the attention they get for the negativity, whereas the Kardashians know they’re scandalous and openly thrive on it. There are several examples of both families’ scandals, two of which are above on the magazine covers. The Duggars have graced many a magazine cover for things such as the infamous molestation scandal involving oldest Duggar child Josh, Michelle likening abortion to the Holocaust, 5-year-old Josie Duggar being left alone near a gun, and I could go on and on. Those are just a few. Duggar patriarch Jim Bob has even admitted that the negative publicity is good for them.
The Kardashians are no stranger to scandal either. As I said, they embrace their drama proudly, though. Some of their more scandalous moments include sex tapes, cheating, drug overdoses, and pretty much everything you can think of that’s less than pleasant. The name Kardashian is, after all, synonymous with the word scandal.
8. They Date and Marry Famous People
We know this is true for the Kardashians; between the five sisters (including Kendall and Kylie Jenner), they have dated and/or married men the likes of Lamar Odom, Kanye West, Tyga, Nick Lachey, Nick Cannon, Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, Jaden Smith, and many more. Of course, the Duggar children have not dated people as famous as some of those names, but they have dipped into the pool of famous eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in their own right. For example, Jana Duggar has been romantically linked to Bringing Up Bates star Lawson Bates, and rumors have been swirling lately that she may be courting NFL athlete Tim Tebow. Meanwhile, her younger sister Jinger Duggar just married famous soccer player Jeremy Vuolo. And this last one may be stretching it, but it is worth a mention that Jana and Jinger’s younger sister Joy-Anna is engaged to her friend of 15 years, Austin Forsyth, who was once a reality show star on 2009’s World’s Strictest Parents (sounds like she’ll have a blast with those in-laws!).
7. Tons of PDA Pics!
This may not come as a surprise for the Kardashian and Jenner families, but the oh-so-modest Duggars? No? Well, think again. Just like the Kardashian clan, they too have embraced the notion of PDA (public display of affection) on social media. With the coming of age of Jim Bob and Michelle’s daughters Jana, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna (ages 19-27, respectively) in particular, the courtships have been all over the news. Jessa and Jinger especially have been known to post PDA photos, like the one on the above left of Jessa and her husband, Ben Seewald (creepily, her parents “recreated” the black and white kissing photo in their very own show of PDA that we wish had never happened!). And Jinger was photographed practically making out with her new hubby Jeremy Vuolo during a cooking class recently. As for the Kardashians? There is no question that they just love them some PDA, and are not afraid to show it. In the photo on the right, Kourtney and her baby daddy Scott Disick give us a little show.
Most famous people travel, some more than others. And while the Duggars and the Kardashians travel for very different reasons, they travel nonetheless. It is just one more thing they have in common despite being so “different”. The Duggar clan has traveled to several countries on mission trips, to spread the word of God. They have traveled to China, Japan, Jerusalem, El Salvador, and Jim Bob and Jill went to Nepal in order for her to meet her future husband, Derick Dillard. Domestically, they visit Washington, D.C. frequently, took a month-long road trip to Los Angeles, went to Manhattan, on several ski trips, to Dollywood of all places, and on an 11-city book tour.
The Kardashians, well, where haven’t they been? They have spin-off shows taking place in Miami, New York, and The Hamptons. They travel domestically like every other day. Internationally, they went to Paris for Kimye’s wedding, Iceland, Thailand, Greece, Bora Bora, Armenia, the Dominican Republic, London, and probably a ton more.
5. Haters, Petitions, and Boycotts
Yet another thing the Duggar and Kardashian families have in common is the fact that people hate them so much, they have actually boycotted them (they hate them, but they also love to hate them). For the Duggars, their show 19 Kids and Counting was protested and ultimately cancelled in light of the molestation scandal (and the Duggars lost out on a reported $25 million per year!). They have also received plenty of criticism for their anti-gay and other discriminatory beliefs.
Moving onto the Kardashians, there is an official “Boycott the Kardashians” website and a petition on Change.org for Sears to remove Kardashian merchandise from their stores (the petition has been closed). There are several other petitions out there, too. Even notorious blogger Perez Hilton boycotted them in 2015! But it seems as if they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
4. They Are Authors
I am not talking Hemingway or Thoreau or anything, but the heads of both families (Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and Kris and Caitlyn Jenner) have penned memoirs of their lives. That also goes for their children, who have followed in their footsteps and written books of their own. As you can see, Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar, the four oldest Duggar daughters, co-wrote a book called Growing Up Duggar, about their lives being raised in a family with 19 children. Likewise, Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian became published authors when their book Kardashian Konfidential (again with that alliteration obsession!) hit shelves in 2010. Kim Kardashian also wrote her own book, called Selfish. Perhaps more creatively, younger sibs Kendall and Kylie Jenner wrote a sci-fi dystopian novel called Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia.
3. The Family Brands Are Both Run By…
Let’s get one thing straight: these people are a family of course, but they have almost become more of a brand than anything else. At the end of the day, I am sure they would do anything for one another like any other family would. But the fame, fortune, and everything that goes along with it seems to have taken over their lives to the point where neither family knows how to operate if not in front of a camera. What would feel so foreign and uncomfortable for most of us (living our lives in front of a television crew in our homes, or having them follow us around wherever we go) has become the norm for them. Thus, they are a brand, and both are brands that have earned them exorbitant amounts of money, between their shows, and for the Kardashians specifically, their merchandise. And interestingly, both brands are run by either the family’s patriarch (Jim Bob Duggar) or matriarch (Kris Jenner).
2. The Youngins
The youngest Duggars and Kardashians may be only beginning their lives, but they have no choice in the fact that they will live in front of the cameras for the foreseeable future. For the Duggar family, this includes the youngest children of Jim Bob and Michelle, as well as their grandchildren (Meredith, Marcus, Michael, Mackynzie, Spurgeon, Henry, Israel, and three more on the way). For the Kardashian family, that once included Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who were just nine and 11 years old when Keeping Up With the Kardashians first aired. Now they are all grown up, and the next generation of Kardashians are the media’s (and their family’s) newest victims: Mason, Penelope, and Reign Disick, and North and Saint West, as well as any others that happen to come along (the latest is that Kim may be using one of her family members as a surrogate, and Khloe is having her eggs frozen).
1. Makeup and Hair Tutorials
Finally, we have the makeup and hair tutorials. Kylie Jenner, youngest Kardashian/Jenner family member, is the most well known of any member of the two families for her online makeup tutorials. It seems that young girls really want her style, especially when it comes to those plump lips that I promise they will never achieve without the professional job she had done. But the Duggar girls also (claim to) know a thing or two about beauty. The most popular of them is Jessa’s makeup how-to, but there are many other options if you happen to want beauty advice from the girls who dress like they are 80 years old. Pictured above is Jinger Duggar with a tutorial on her curly hair regimen.