“That isn’t necessarily what I want to be known as. What makes me a rebel?” Amy says in this week’s cover story. “I love the Lord and I love my family. I’m just not born to live exactly the way they do.”
When juxtaposed against her famously ultraconservative cousins Jill and Jessa, the former 19 Kids and Counting stars known for dressing modestly to avoid male attention and waiting until their wedding days for their first kiss, their differences are clear.
“For me, growing up was all about shorts, tank tops, country songs and boyfriends,” Amy says. All things that her extended family steers very clear of. After Amy was featured multiple times on the family’s show, “I became known as the rebellious one without even really being rebellious.”
For much more on Amy (Duggar) King’s famous family and happy newlywed life, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
Amy Duggar on the cover of PEOPLE
She’s vocal about disagreeing with her family on certain things – “I think kissing before marriage should happen” – but says she’s also not as wild as some may think. “I was a church leader and went to Christian school all my life,” she explains. Still, “I never really felt up to the Duggar standard.”
As a kid, it was an internal battle for Amy, despite the love and acceptance she received from her cousins. “They’re very, very accepting” says Amy. On Jill and Jessa, she says: “They’re beautiful girls. They try to help as many people as they can and they’re really loving and believe what they’re doing is right.”
From left: Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, Amy (Duggar) King and Jill (Duggar) Dillard)
D Dipasupil / Getty; Jim Wright; D Dipasupil / Getty
These days, Amy is believing in herself a lot more.
“It’s so nice to know I was true to myself. I found my own path and it’s the lifestyle that I think is okay to live. I’ve found a healthy balance.”