HGTV host and Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines always looks impeccable, just like her home designs. It’s hard to imagine her ever experiencing insecurity or feeling awkward. But looking back on her youth, Gaines said she was frequently ostracized for being different from everyone else.
Those scars run deep. Recently, Gaines released a children’s book focused on making everyone feel important and included. She also headed to social media to share a funny photo of herself as a kid and remind everyone that life can often change dramatically over time.
Joanna Gaines never felt like she fit in as a child
Gaines grew up in Texas as the daughter of a Caucasian father and Asian mother, which is where the source of her troubles began. According to House Beautiful, the HGTV legend often felt ostracized and misunderstood by her peers, who teased her for looking different than they looked.
She said, “Kids in kindergarten would make fun of me for being Asian.” She continued: “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.’”
She wrote a book about inclusion and acceptance
Instead of suffering those feelings privately, Gaines decided to channel her negative experiences for good. She came up with the idea of publishing a children’s book called, The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be.
The story about kids coming together to build a hot air balloon focuses on how differences are what makes a group strong. Through a sweet story and beautiful illustrations, the Fixer Upper alum hopes to reach out to kids who are struggling to feel acceptance and pass on the message that they are important, too.
Joanna Gaines recreated an awkward school photo on social media
Her husband Chip Gaines is frequently pegged as the comedian. However, Gaines showed off her silly side by recreating a photo of herself from grade school years, missing tooth and all. It’s all part of her initiative to promote self-love and acceptance of differences.
“I want so badly to go back in time to that little girl—a little girl who happens to be half Korean and shy and a little bit self-conscious—to tell her that not only is she good enough, but she is extraordinary,” she wrote the first time she posted the photo.
She continued, saying, “I hope you find the courage to embrace all that you are—all of your quirks, all of your beauty, all of your brilliance—because the world needs YOU.”
And now? Gaines said she’s “most proud” of her Korean heritage. “The culture is just so beautiful,” she wrote.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have a busy year ahead
Who would have thought that the shy and awkward kid would grow up to become one of the most respected, highly sought after renovation experts in the nation? Gaines and her husband are hard at work preparing to launch their new Magnolia Network in 2021, including a reboot of their hit show, Fixer Upper.
She also runs a gigantic retail emporium, Magnolia Market at the Silos, and is the author of multiple books and a magazine. In other words, it’s good to be Joanna Gaines. She’s living proof that anyone can live their dreams if they follow their heart.
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