Joanna Gaines Tears Up On Podcast While Admitting She Didn’t Embrace Her Korean Heritage As Much As She Could Have

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In the final episode of her podcast, The Stories We Tell with Joanna Gaines, the Magnolia Network star had an emotional moment while talking to her mother. The interior designer doesn’t often open up about her upbringing, however, she got more personal than she ever has on the new episode. Here’s what Gaines had to say about owning her Korean heritage.

Joanna Gaines Tears Up In New Podcast Episode

Joanna Gaines has made a stellar career for herself in the field of home design. However, as she and her husband, Chip, have grown their platform, fans have gotten to know the family beyond their jobs. During an episode of her podcast, The Stories We Tell with Joanna Gaines, the Fixer Upper star opened up about her experiences growing up with a Korean mother. To help her tell her story, Gaines invited her mom, Nan, onto the show.

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Gaines is the daughter of Nan Stevens, a Korean immigrant, and Jerry Stevens, a Kansas native of European descent. During the episode, Gaines revealed that she struggled to fully embrace her Korean culture given her mixed heritage.

“I don’t know that I ever told you this,” Gaines told her mother, beginning to tear up, “but I always wanted to say I was sorry for living in halfness. And not fully embracing the most beautiful thing about myself, which was you.”

‘I Felt That Guilt And Regret’

During the episode, Gaines recalled the time she spent in New York City’s Koreatown during college. According to Gaines, it was only when she saw other Korean mothers and daughters that she began to understand how important her culture was to her identity.

“The culture that was half of me as a Korean little girl, as a Korean teenager, as a Korean woman. That I felt that guilt and that regret. Like, dang it, that’s my mother, this is her culture,” Gaines emphasized. “I didn’t fully own who I was until that moment… that I am this culture, this Korean history, this Korean story, my Korean mother, my Korean grandmother. That’s the richest part of who I am. And walking in the fullness of that really changed the narrative for me.”

Gaines also noted that seeing her daughters embrace their own Korean heritage has helped her feel “so free” to embrace her culture. Nan couldn’t help but tear up as well as Gaines told her, “I just wanted to tell you mom, that I now am fully in a place of just complete pride.”

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