In the middle of filming on the fifth season of their hit HGTV home renovation show, Fixer Upper, Joanna and Chip Gaines had to field rumors about their series, their relationship, and their children. In fact, the wildly popular DIY powerhouse duo has been subject to a lot of speculation about their beliefs since Fixer Upper premiered four seasons ago. One question that keeps popping up: Is Joanna Gaines a feminist? The design star hasn't identified as such publicly, nor has she spoken about her views on the movement. (Gaines' representative told Romper that Gaines would be unable to comment at this time.)
It's not a surprise that fans are curious about where Gaines' stands on feminism. The Texas-born TV host is a successful designer and take-charge entrepreneur who, through her Magnolia blog, tries to inspire other women. It's her leadership and independence that led Curbed to question if Fixer Upper is "stealth feminist fantasy." (The answer: possibly.)
One example of her possible feminist leanings: A week before Mother's Day last year, Gaines wrote on her blog that she felt like she wasn't "enough" when she was staying home, raising her children. But it was necessary for her to feed her creative side so she wouldn't let herself "be filled with feelings of discontent."
Gaines went on to tell her fellow moms,
I hope if you’re in this season now you’ll take the time to allow yourself a few minutes a day to do what you love, too. I found it was the thing that kept me balanced and energized.
Aside from her blog and her role on the show, there is not much else out there to suggest the idea that Gaines is a feminist. She and her husband, Chip, don't speak often about their personal and political beliefs, other than the fact that they're practicing Christians. The couple did come under fire late last year when BuzzFeed ran an article about Texas-based Antioch Community Church, a conservative evangelical church with anti-gay views to which the couple belonged. The Gaineses didn't answer BuzzFeed's questions about their personal stance on same-sex marriage.
Chip Gaines responded to the controversy in early January. In a blog post, Chip said the couple have "decided to change the conversation" this year. He wrote,
If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow – we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love. Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith. That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don’t ask us to cause we won’t play that way.
Fans may never know whether or not Joanna Gaines identifies as a feminist. In the meantime, though, HGTV addicts can continue to enjoy her savvy designs and big projects when Season 5 of Fixer Upper premieres later this year.