The Heartbreaking Reason Joanna Gaines Apologized To Her Mom

Through "Fixer Upper," her mega-hit HGTV show with her husband Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines enamored herself to fans all over the world, many of whom wanted to emulate the couple's seemingly perfect home life. However, the reality stars and home renovation experts have frequently showcased that all is not what it seems. In fact, Joanna got candid about her past marital troubles with Chip earlier this year, revealing it hasn't always been smooth sailing for them.

As the Daily Mail reported at the time, in an edition of their magazine, Magnolia Journal, the busy mother of five shared: "In our 20 years of marriage, Chip and I have experienced a little bit of all of it ... Times when all hope felt lost and circumstances were out of our control. When all I could think to do was lay face down on the floor in surrender." Joanna went even deeper in her recently-released memoir, "The Stories We Tell," which emerged after months of journaling.

Among other things, the "Fixer Upper" star delved into how she felt growing up as a mixed-race child in a small town outside of Wichita. "We were literally the only Asians in our entire school," Joanna informed People, admitting that following teasing from her classmates, "I realized if this isn't accepted, maybe I need to hide it and play more into the other side of who I am." As a result, the former HGTV star felt she had to apologize to her mother.  

The Fixer Upper star grew up feeling ashamed of her heritage

Joanna Gaines saved the best for last, featuring her mother, Nan, on the final episode of her podcast, "The Stories We Tell with Joanna Gaines." They discussed Joanna's upbringing and, in particular, her experience being raised by an American dad and a Korean mom. Things got downright emotional when the "Fixer Upper" star acknowledged how unwilling she was to accept her true identity. 

"I always wanted to say I was sorry for living in half-ness," Joanna began. "And not fully embracing the most beautiful thing about myself, which was you." Struggling to contain her emotions, the reality star added, "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."

In fact, during her college days in New York, Joanna recalled wandering around Koreatown and seeing mothers and daughters holding hands, which made her miss Nan terribly. "I didn't fully own who I was until that moment," she admitted. "And walking in the fullness of that really changed the narrative for me." These days, the HGTV alum is thrilled to see her own children, with husband Chip Gaines, fully embracing their heritage.

The Magnolia co-founder released her memoir, "The Stories We Tell," earlier this year. She also opened up in its pages about fighting hard against who she really was, per Today