Joanna Gaines is opening up about her childhood.
The “Fixer Upper” star appeared on the “Today Show” on Tuesday to promote her upcoming memoir, “The Stories We Tell,” in which she discusses growing up half-Korean in her hometown of Kansas.
“I told the other kids my middle name was Anne because it sounded more American than Lee,” Hoda Kotb said as she read aloud an excerpt of Gaines’ book. “The lies I told out loud though weren’t as harmful as the lies I was letting take root in my heart.”
“It was like I couldn’t find my place,” Gaines shared with Kotb. “I remember going to Korean church and feeling like, ‘I don’t look like them,’ because I felt like, you know, I was a ‘half.’ And then going to school and being the only girl who looked pretty Asian.”
The interior designer explained that she has always seen herself as “somewhere in the middle,” and that finding her place has been an “internal” process for her.
She explained that her bullying began in the school cafeteria while she was eating her mother’s Korean food.
“I loved rice. I loved my mom’s food. And, at the moment when you’d open it, that’s when all the kids were like, ‘What?’” Gaines explained she “laughed off the insults” and did not process the bullying until later in life.
Ella, 16, and Emmie, 12, Gaines’ daughters, appeared with their mother on the set of the “Today Show” on Tuesday to show their support.
Gaines and her husband, “Fixer Upper” co-star Chip Gaines, have three sons: Drake, 18, Duke, 14, and Crew, 4. Since 2003, the couple has been married.
Gaines revealed last week that she wanted to be more spontaneous in her 40s. She told People magazine that she has been burned out for several years and has felt the pressures of her own high expectations.
“I was about to turn 44, and I realized, the last 10 years, a lot of it felt like a blur,” she told the outlet. “It was fast, it was exciting and there was so much to be grateful for, but there was something in me that just felt so tired. I wanted to go back and regain moments that I had missed along the way.”
Gaines revealed in her new memoir, “The Stories We Tell,” that she began a journey of self-discovery through journaling and healing. This process resulted in happier moments. Bottom of Form