Photo credit: Joanna Gaines / Instagram
Photo credit: Joanna Gaines / Instagram

From House Beautiful

Joanna Gaines has a lot to be proud of. Her Magnolia empire, her five wonderful children, her upcoming TV network, as well as the many folks she’s brought joy to through design— just to name a few of her accomplishments. However, despite all she has achieved, one of her most proudest feats comes from within: her culture.

This week, Gaines’s newest children’s book The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be hit shelves. Prior to its release, the Fixer Upper star (yup, the series is coming back in 2021!) shed a light on what inspired her to write it.

As a refresher, Gaines’s mom is Korean and her dad is Caucasian. Growing up, this difference in Gaines’s appearance and background caused her to be the center of many jokes. She recalled that “kids in kindergarten would make fun of me for being Asian.” Furthermore, she explained that “when you’re that age you don’t know really how to process that.” She continued “the way you take that is: ‘who I am isn’t good enough.'”

However, fast forward to present day and Gaines has developed a newfound love for her background. “My Korean heritage is one of the things I’m most proud of,” she says, adding that “the culture is just so beautiful.”

The farmhouse style maven took to Instagram today to further tease her latest book, as well as reflect on her experience growing up Korean-American. Alongside an adorable photo of herself as a child, Gaines wrote “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.” Gaines then encouraged fans to do the same. “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,” she wrote.

Now that Gaines has been able to embrace her roots, she hopes The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be will help kids follow suit — because as she noted, it’s hard to accept yourself as a kid when your peers are trying to put you down.

The book tells the story of a group of kids who come together to build their very own hot air balloons — hence the cover’s colorful illustrations by Julianna Swaney. Along the way, they learn to work together, while leaning in to their own skills and processes, to fill the sky with beautiful colors. As noted in its product description, the theme is simple: “You’re one of a kind, and it’s so clear to see: The world needs who you were made to be.”

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be is currently available online or in stores wherever books are sold.

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