Former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star Mady Gosselin reflected on her identity as half Korean and half white — and the racism she and her siblings faced in school — in a recent post shared on Korean American Day.

“[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,” Mady, 21, explained via Instagram on Thursday, January 13, alongside a photo of herself with her doll. “[She] did not look like me; she had blonde hair and blue eyes, by my choice. [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 [supposed] to look instead of the way [I] do.”

Mady Gosselin little
Mady Gosselin/Instagram

The daughter of Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin, who has seven other siblings, including her twin sister Cara Gosselin, candidly admitted this story filled her with “a gross sort of discomfort and shame.” 

“[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,” the TLC alum, now a student at Syracuse University in New York State, wrote. 

“[I] want to make it known that [I’m] so proud to celebrate being [Korean-American] today. [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 [two] years), but [has] persevered through it powerfully and gracefully,” she shared, alluding to the spike in Asian-American hate crimes since the beginning of COVID-19. According to FBI data, anti-Asian hate crimes rose more than 73 percent in 2020. 

She added, “[I’m] also proud I make a kick-ass kimchi,” referring to a staple dish in Korean cuisine of fermented vegetables, typically napa cabbage and Korean radish. 

Her post resonated with many people in her comment section, including a mother whose children are also “50/50.”

“My [eldest] deals with racism at his school,” the mother wrote. “I always tell him to be proud of where you came from!”

“[It] hurts me to hear that — my siblings and [I] have experienced racism at school too,” Mady replied. “[You] seem like a great parent for supporting him through it.” 

“I’m also half white and half Korean, and have similar memories of choosing blonde barbies and dolls,” another follower commented. “I never really thought about it until now, but you’re right, it was about wanting to look more like the white Pennsylvanian kids I grew up with. Thanks so much for posting this.” 

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