Mady Gosselin, the 21-year-old daughter of former reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin, is celebrating her Korean American heritage after years of feeling "shame" about her identity.
In a candid post she shared in honor of Korean American Day Thursday on Instagram, Mady Gosselin recalled being so out of touch with her mixed-race identity as a child that she preferred to play with a blond-haired, blue-eyed American Girl doll rather than a doll that looked more like herself.
"today is korean-american day. i’m sharing this photo with you because this was taken on the morning before i got my first american girl doll. she was from the 'look-alike' line and i named her jordan," Gosselin wrote next to a throwback photo of herself holding a different doll.
"she did not look like me; she had blonde hair and blue eyes, by my choice," Gosselin wrote of Jordan. "at the time, there wasn’t a doll from the line that looked like me, but more importantly, at 5, i chose a doll that reflected the way i thought i was suppose to look instead of the way i do."
Gosselin appeared alongside her parents, her twin sister Cara and their six younger sextuplet siblings on the Discovery network series "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and later on the TLC series "Kate Plus 8." The now 21-year-old said the memory of choosing a doll that looked nothing like her today makes her uncomfortable.
"looking back, this story fills me with a gross sort of discomfort and shame. having grown up 50/50 (white and korean), i was hyper aware of my ethnicity from a young age, but the transition from awareness to shame was a slow progression that i didn’t notice happening until i was much older," she explained.
Today, Gosselin wants others to know that she has embraced her Korean American roots. She also acknowledged the alarming number of Korean Americans and other Asian Americans who have been targeted in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"so i want to make it known that i’m so proud to celebrate being korean-american today," she wrote. "i’m proud to be a part of a community that has suffered through decades of ridicule and hate in this country (only made worse in the last 2 years) but have persevered through it powerfully and gracefully."
"i’m also proud that i make a kick ass kimchi!!" she added.
In May 2019, Kate Gosselin, who divorced Jon Gosselin in December 2009 after a decade of marriage, celebrated when Mady and Cara graduated from high school.
Next to a photo of the proud mom posing with her twins, she wrote, "This post is a little delayed (mostly due to post graduation exhaustion lol) but I’m still beaming with pride!”
“Where did the time go????” she added.