Joanna Gaines is speaking out about the racist treatment her younger self witnessed being aimed at her Korean mother in a poignant Instagram post shared amid a wave of attacks against the Asian community, including last Tuesday’s shooting spree in Atlanta.
The Fixer Upper star, 42, shared her thoughts as she celebrated her latest book, The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be, being translated into Korean, her mom Nan’s first language. Gaines’s father is of German and Lebanese descent.
“To see the words of my book translated into my mother’s first language is such an honor for me,” the Texan home and lifestyle guru wrote, sharing a photo of her translated book. Gaines also shared a photo of her childhood self with Nan.
“I remember as a little girl being out with my mom and seeing how in a moment, a person’s harsh look or an underhanded comment would attempt to belittle her rich story and her beautiful culture,” she continued.
“We can’t take lightly the power that our words and actions carry. The world needs who we were ALL made to be and all the amazing and beautiful differences we each bring with us.
“Maybe if we say it enough, it will ring true and become the message that softens even the hardest of hearts.”
The mother of five’s raw post was met with praise and calls for solidarity.
“These photos and this post just took my breath away,” wrote country music singer and activist Chely Wright.
“I hope that parents would have conversations with their children about the importance of stopping racism and what everyone can do as a bystander if they were to witness an act of racism,” read another comment. “We need to stand up for others and learn ways to stop this from happening.”
“Thank you for using your platform to speak up and bring attention and awareness for our people!” added another fan. “Enough is enough! People take our passiveness for weakness and they couldn’t be more wrong!”
“Yes and thank for posting from your fellow Korean American sister,” read another comment.
Gaines has previously opened up about her heritage, and the conflicted feelings she had with it as a child.
“My mom is full Korean and my dad is Caucasian,” she writes in her book. “Kids in kindergarten would make fun of me for being Asian, and when you’re that age you don’t know really how to process that; the way you take that is, ‘Who I am isn’t good enough.’ Fast forward to today and my Korean heritage is one of the things I’m most proud of. I’m trying to make up for that lost time — the culture is just so beautiful. I think discovering who you are and what you were made to do is a lifelong journey.”
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