Food content creator reveals she was mocked for bringing Korean food to school as a child
By Michelle De Pacina
22 days ago
Sarah Ahn, a food content creator who has gone viral on social media for videos with her mom, reveals that she faced mockery for bringing Korean foods to a predominantly white school as a child.
The viral video: In a viral TikTok video, the 28-year-old social media coordinator based in Southern California shared that she had stopped bringing foods like kimbap to elementary school because she was bullied.
“Kids asked me why I brought that to school and [said] it looks disgusting,” Ahn recalled, “I went home and told my mom to never make me the kimbap again and to just pack me a sandwich instead.”
Online reactions: The video has since garnered over 12.1 million views, with many viewers sharing similar stories and pointing out the difference in today’s mainstream American culture.
“I grew up drinking boba and got so bullied for it… now look what drink is trending,” one person said.
“As someone who works in an elementary school, I can confirm that Kimbap is the hottest item in the lunchroom now,” another commented.
Revelation to mom: In an interview with ABC News, Ahn revealed that her mom only found out about her embarrassment when she created the video. Her mom, raised in Korea, was heartbroken and surprised by the bullying as she comes from a more homogenous culture. Ahn explained that this issue is prevalent among immigrant children who face cultural differences.
Celebrating diversity: However, Ahn now uses social media to celebrate her culture’s cuisine, sharing her mom’s recipes and stories as “Ahnestkitchen” on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
She believes that the rise of interest in Korean culture, including food, K-pop and K-drama, has helped normalize aspects that were once subjected to bullying. Ahn emphasizes the importance of creating a space for conversations about different cultures at home and showcasing the hardworking aspects of her family’s life on social media.
“I would want those kids to know that there’s diversity — not just as humans in our skin color, [but] with how we eat our foods and what we consume every day, and to be open to trying new foods before making certain remarks,” Ahn said. “That really starts with having conversations at home about what diversity is.”
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