Julie Chen Reveals She Had Plastic Surgery To Make Her 'Asian Eyes' Appear Bigger
Julie Chen revealed that she had plastic surgery as a young woman to make her eyes appear bigger and "less Asian," on Wednesday’s episode of The Talk.
This week, all five hosts of The Talk are spilling secrets. First, Sharon Osbourne spilled her secret fling with Jay Leno on Monday, Aisha Tyler spoke about her struggles with infertility Tuesday and Wednesday it was Chen's turn in the hot seat.
The former news anchor and Big Brother host told viewers that she had had plastic surgery when she was 25 years old and an aspiring broadcast journalist working in Dayton, Ohio. Chen says she approached her boss and volunteered to work holidays at the news desk in the studio if news anchors wanted time off and was met with a denial due to her race.
“And [the news director] said, ‘You will never be on this anchor desk, because you’re Chinese.’ He said, ‘Let’s face it, Julie, how relatable are you to our community? … On top of that because of your heritage, because of your Asian eyes, I’ve noticed that when you’re on camera, when you’re interviewing someone you look disinterested and bored because your eyes are so heavy, they are so small,” Chen said.
The comments caused Chen to develop a complex about her eyes. Eventually, she decided to seek council from a top agent who told her that if she got the plastic surgery done, her dreams of being a well-known news anchor would come true. Chen was careful to point out that she considered whether or not having such an operation would mean she somehow disavowed her Asian identity.
“[My parents and I] had a long conversation about if it would be denying my heritage,” she said.
Finally, she decided to get the operation. On Wednesday’s show, Chen even volunteered a set of before and after pictures to demonstrate how the surgery changed her look.
“They eyes are bigger. I look more alert… more expressive,” she pointed out.
Though Chen admitted that she wonders sometimes if it was the right thing to do, she chooses not to regret her decision.
“But, I will say, after I had that done… the ball did roll for me, which I struggle with. Wow, did I give into the man and do this… I don’t like to live with regrets. I did it. I moved on. No one’s more proud of being Chinese than I am,” Chen concluded.
Chen received support from her co-hosts.
“You made a choice that was good for you, and you have… represented your race, women and your colleagues. Don’t look back,” Sheryl Underwood said, eliciting applause from the audience.
Co-host Sara Gilbert also expressed her support, saying, “I think you were beautiful before, you’re beautiful now, and it’s whatever makes you happy.”
On Thursday, Chen tweeted her thanks to fans for supporting her after she revealed her secret.
Thanks for the twitter love after I shared my plastic surgery secret! Today another host reveals all on @thetalk_CBS!
— Julie Chen (@JulieChen) September 12, 2013
The Talk airs weekdays at 2 p.m. on CBS.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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